Washington [US], May 12 (ANI/Sputnik): The United States is willing to start incentivizing its allies and partners to move away from using Russian-made military equipment amid concerns about spare parts and technical assistance while offering US weapons instead, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Jessica Lewis said on Thursday.
"We will encourage partners to diversify their equipment inventories away from Russian systems. This could include support for select partners providing equipment to Ukraine and other incentives to donate additional systems. It could also include strategically timed grant assistance to support procurements of US platforms instead of Russian systems," Lewis said in prepared testimony for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Lewis said she sees the current period of international relations as an opportunity for the United States to procure its military equipment in place of the Russian weapons.
At the same time, Lewis said it is imperative to ensure that any potentially emerging global military capability gaps as a result of moving away from Russian equipment are not filled by China.
To accelerate the process, the United States intends to use the funding to incentivize select countries' diversification of equipment inventories away from Russian systems, Lewis added.
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk requested help to defend them from intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said the operation is solely targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure.
In response, the United States and its allies implemented comprehensive sanctions against Russia and supplied Ukraine with offensive and defensive weapons, including a range of Soviet-made equipment. (ANI/Sputnik)