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Western aid to Ukraine falls off a cliff – German monitor

Fewer donors pledge smaller new packages, with focus shifting towards weapons, IfW Kiel has said

New commitments of weapons and money to Ukraine by the US and its allies have reached a new low in the past three months, down to almost one tenth of what they were a year ago, Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel) reported on Thursday.

The research institution updated this week its Ukraine Support Tracker, a database of public aid pledges, which it has been tracking since January last year. Between August and October, the value of new packages dropped to just €2.11 billion ($2.28 bn), marking an 87% decrease year by year.

Of the 42 donor nations monitored, only 20 committed new assistance in the three months. The active group was the smallest in the entire almost two-year period, IfW Kiel said. The majority of aid actually delivered was sent under multi-year programs pledged previously.

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European nations for the first time surpassed the US as the largest source of heavy weapons for Ukraine, mainly due to the pledges of F-16 fighter jets and Patriot and IRIS-T air defense systems by Germany and the Nordic countries. Military aid accounted for 58% of what the top ten donors offered, the institute reported.

IfW Kiel stressed that aid outlook was “unclear” for Kiev, considering the latest snags in the US Congress and the EU’s failure so far to approve the promised €50 billion ($54 bn) under the so-called Ukraine Facility.

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Internal EU rows threaten Ukraine’s $54 billion – FT

The US Senate this week blocked a vote on a White House appropriation request, which would have funded Ukraine assistance programs to the tune of over $60 billion. Senior officials have warned that previously approved spending will run out within weeks.

President Joe Biden implied that other Western nations would follow the US lead, if it stops funding Kiev, as he pleaded with Congress to approve more spending on Wednesday.

“If we don’t support Ukraine, what’s the rest of the world going to do? What’s Japan going to do, which is supporting Ukraine now? What’s going to happen in terms of the G7? What’s going to happen in terms of our NATO Allies?” he asked.

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Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has blamed shortage of Western arms for the largely unsuccessful counteroffensive against Russia, which his troops conducted between June and November. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has estimated Ukrainian losses over that period at over 125,000 troops and 16,000 heavy weapons.

December 08, 2023 at 08:53AM
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