Ten days after Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington, the future of American aid to kyiv is still up in the air.
Because if the American Congress managed to find a provisional agreement at the last minute on Saturday evening in order to avoid a “shutdown” of its federal administration, this compromise was found to the detriment of new aid for Ukraine, to which notably oppose Republican elected officials close to Donald Trump.
A “sense of urgency” to approve new aid for kyiv, worries Biden
In a televised address from the White House, Joe Biden called on the Republican camp and in particular the Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy to stop “playing” with the threat of a “shutdown”, while the agreement reached Saturday ignores new aid for Ukraine. “I want to say to our allies, to the American people and to the people of Ukraine, you can count on our support. We will not abandon” Ukraine, assured the American president.
“There is a sense of urgency” to approve a new financing measure for Ukraine in the coming days and weeks, added Joe Biden. Initially, the White House had demanded that the finance law passed by elected officials include $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for kyiv. While Democratic officials indicated Saturday that they expected a separate measure on aid to Ukraine to be introduced in the coming days, it was not yet clear whether the proposed new aid would be same amount.
kyiv assures “working” with the United States for a new agreement
For its part, kyiv seeks to reassure regarding the sustainability of support from Washington. “The Ukrainian government is actively working with its American partners to ensure that the new decision on the US budget, which will be made within the next 45 days, will include new funding to help Ukraine,” said the Ukrainian government spokesperson. Foreign Minister Oleg Nikolenko, before adding that the current situation “will not prevent the flow of aid from continuing to arrive in Ukraine.”
The United States is the country that has helped Kiev the most, with the release of some $110 billion in civil and military aid since February 2022. The European Union, for its part, said it was “surprised”, by the voice of his head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell, regretting “deeply the decision of the United States”. “I hope that this decision will not be final and that Ukraine will continue to benefit from the support of the United States,” he added.
Russia ‘prepares for many more years of fighting’
Russian military budget still on the rise in 2024? This is what a British intelligence note indicates posted this Sunday on Xwhich explains that “documents, apparently leaked from the Russian Finance Ministry, suggest that Russia’s defense spending is expected to reach around 30% of total government spending in 2024.”
“The ministry proposes a defense budget of 10.8 trillion rubles, which is equivalent to approximately 6% of GDP and an increase of 68% compared to 2023.”, also specifies the note. British intelligence also explains that it is “very likely that Russia can sustain this level of defense spending until 2024”, but “only at the expense of the economy as a whole.”
For British intelligence, these figures suggest that Russia is “preparing for many more years of fighting in Ukraine.” Enough to mark the public comments of the Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu on September 27, 2023, who explained that he was ready for the conflict in Ukraine to continue until 2025.
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