CHARLESTON, W.Va. – With the Pentagon on the fence as to whether they should send their support to Ukraine in the form of armed drones, senators across the nation, including West Virginia’s own Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), have elected to make their opinion on the matter known in order to help sway the vote in Ukraine’s favor.
A group of 16 bipartisan Senators have come together alongside Senators Manchin and Capito to urge the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, to supply MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones to Ukrainian forces. The drones were singled out by Ukraine’s Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov and Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova due to their ability to target Russian warships in the Black Sea.
“Transferring the MQ-1 C Gray Eagle was under consideration for months across 24 assistance packages. The introduction of Iranian UAS systems supporting Russian objectives threaten to stall Ukraine’s momentum. A Russian victory over Ukraine would significantly damage American security and prosperity, and enabling Ukraine’s preservation of its homeland remains a moral imperative and squarely within our national interests,” the Senators said.
Those joining Senators Manchin and Capito include Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), John Hoeven (R-ND), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
The full letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin can be found here.