During the White House briefing on Monday, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Iran is planning to supply Russia with several hundred unmanned aerial vehicles, some of which have weapons capabilities.
- You mentioned earlier that Russia has failed to achieve its objectives, in particular taking Kyiv. Do you-- are you confident, then, that even if this war extends months, years, in the future, that Russia will not be able to take Kyiv?
- So we do have confidence that the bravery of the Ukrainians and the support of the West to Ukraine will enable Ukraine to effectively defend and sustain its capital. And I would also point out, when I talked about the severe cost that Russia has had to endure on the battlefield as it tries to grind out territory in the east, this is coming at a cost to the sustainment of its own weapons.
And I'll just give you one example before I leave, which is an example that I think is pretty newsworthy and noteworthy. And that is that our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeline. Our information further indicates that Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use these UAVs, with initial training sessions slated to begin as soon as early July.
It's unclear whether Iran has delivered any of these UAVs to Russia already. But this is just one example of how Russia is looking to countries like Iran for capabilities that are also being used, I might add, or have been used, before we got the ceasefire in place in Yemen, to attack Saudi Arabia. So from our perspective, we will continue to do our part to help sustain the effective defense of Ukraine and to help the Ukrainians show that the Russian effort to try to wipe Ukraine off the map cannot succeed.