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EU must double Ukraine aid, as US turns off the taps: institute

acing Putin threat, EU pushes to arm Ukraine -- and itself
Source: Pixabay

The European Union will have to double its military support to Ukraine to fill a gap left by the United States after months of blockage of new aid by Congress, a research institute that monitors assistance said on Friday.

With existing funding having already dried up, Republicans in the US House of Representatives are blocking authorising $60 billion in new military aid despite Ukrainian commanders and Western officials have said in recent days that Ukrainian troops are running out of ammunition.

“It is highly uncertain whether the US will send further military aid in 2024,” the Germany-based Kiel Institute said in report on the state of play of military, financial and humanitarian aid to the war-battered country since the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022.

According to its data up to January 15, 2024, the United States has sent 42.2 billion euros ($45.4 billion) in military aid to Ukraine between February 2022 and December 2023, at a rate of around two billion euros a month.

The European Union and its 27 members have promised 49.7 billion euros of military aid since the start of the war, but have delivered or earmarked just 35.2 billion euros.

“Europe will have to at least double its current military support efforts in case there is no further support from the United States,” said Christoph Trebesch, head of the Ukraine Support Tracker and Research Director at the Kiel Institute.

“This is a challenge, but just a question of political will. The EU countries are among the richest in the world and so far they have spent not even one percent of their 2021 GDP to support Ukraine.”

A total of 265.1 billion euros have been pledged to Ukraine since February 2022, of which 141.3 billion in financial aid, 107.5 billion in military aid and 16.3 billion in humanitarian aid.

The EU and its member states are the biggest donors with 144.1 billion euros, the United States with 67.7 billion and the United Kingdom 15.7 billion.

But there is a big gap between pledges and money shelled out, especially in the case of the EU, which has so far only allocated 77.2 billion. This is because the bloc’s pledges are spread over several years.

The halt in US military aid to Ukraine comes as the 2024 presidential election gears up as Donald Trump appears set to cruise to the Republican party nomination.

Trump opposes helping Ukraine’s fight against Russia and recently used his sway to kill a US border reform bill that would have also authorised additional aid to Ukraine.

A return Trump to power in 2025 would sound the death knell for US aid to Ukraine, experts say.

Europe has also been plagued by divisions over Ukraine.

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban blocked for months authorising an additional 50 billion euros of aid for Ukraine over four years, relenting only earlier this month.

In Slovakia new populist Prime Minister Robert Fico in November fulfilled promises made during his election campaign and blocked a major arms delivery planned by his predecessor.

The West’s weapons contributions have evolved along with the situation on the battlefield, morphing from tens of thousands of light weapons after the invasion to helicopters and howitzers, and then to sophisticated western tanks including American Abrams, British Challengers and German Leopards.

After getting the green light from Washington, the Netherlands and Denmark agreed in August 2023 to deliver 61 American F-16 fighter jets. Norway followed suit and training of the pilots has started.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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