Status: 05.12.2023, 22:27 p.m.
By: Tobias Utz
The U.S. is Ukraine's main donor in the war with Russia. But now the alliance is starting to crack. There is a banal reason for this.
Update from December 5, 11:45 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky plans to personally address the U.S. Senate to lobby for further U.S. financial aid to the Ukraine war. U.S. funding for Ukraine is almost exhausted and new money must be approved by Congress (see initial report). Zelensky will be connected via video to a closed session of the US Senate on Tuesday (5 December) to illustrate the urgency of the situation, Washington said. Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized the importance of this "important briefing" and urged his colleagues to push for the release of new funds. Without additional financial support, Ukraine faces a shortage of weapons and equipment.
Ukraine desperately needs U.S. financial aid
The U.S. is Ukraine's main military backer and has already provided billions of dollars. However, the funds approved by Congress will be completely used up by the end of the year. The US Department of Defense has already used 97 percent of its approved funds for Ukraine. If Congress does not act, by the end of the year the Ukrainian government will no longer have funds to procure weapons and equipment or receive military equipment from the United States. This could jeopardize not only Ukraine's successes, but also increase the likelihood of Russian victories. Vladimir Putin will simply "carry on," Schumer said, according to consistent reports from news agencies.
Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine. © Ukraine Presidency / Bestimage / Imago Images
However, the release of new U.S. aid to Ukraine continues to be blocked by a domestic political dispute between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House. Despite President Joe Biden's request for a billion-dollar package for Ukraine, many Republicans have expressed doubts about support for the country, or even oppose it. Once again, an interim budget does not include any new funds for Ukraine. Ukraine is therefore facing a critical situation as time and money are running out.
"Run out of money": US runs out of money to support Ukraine in war
First reported on 5 December, 8.00 a.m.: Kyiv/Washington, D.C. - Ukraine appears to be only a few weeks away from receiving further financial support from the United States. The background to this is a legislative dispute over whether funding should be continued in the Ukraine war.
A U.S. government official warned in a letter on Monday (4 December) against freezing the funds. Washington has been one of Ukraine's biggest supporters since the beginning of Russia's "military operation" in February 2022. It has provided more than $75 billion in aid, including military and humanitarian support, the letter said, according to the AP news agency. Western aid has made a significant contribution to the fact that Ukraine has not long since been defeated by Russia.
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Warning of the end of US support in the Ukraine war
President Joe Biden recently asked Congress to authorize about $106 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and the U.S.-Mexico border.
US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy: striving for unity, photographed at a NATO summit. © Kay Nietfeld / dpa
Financial support for Ukraine has largely become a bipartisan issue in the United States. All the Democrats and also a large part of the Republicans are in favor of Ukraine aid. Proponents argue that the aid limits Putin's military capabilities and is therefore in the interests of US security. Some conservatives, on the other hand, believe that the billions of dollars provided to Ukraine should instead be spent domestically or to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border. The result of this discord is disunity in the Republican Party.
Now a letter has reached the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Mike Johnson, the Leader of the House of Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In it, the director of the U.S. Office of Budget and Financial Management, Shalanda Young, warned that aid to the war-torn country would expire in a month. She stressed that without further help from Congress, Russia is more likely to win victories. Young also highlighted the reasons why the Biden administration sees it as crucial to provide further support to Ukraine. She emphasized that the aid helps to promote U.S. national security, prevent major conflicts in the region, and deter future aggression.
Money for Ukraine: Fight for support in the US Congress
Young warned that financial resources for the war-torn country will soon dry up. It will soon be impossible to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide US military stockpiles. If Congress does not approve more aid to Ukraine in the coming weeks, the likelihood of Russian victories would increase, Young warned. This will only play into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
When Russia's invasion began, some military analysts expected a quick victory for Moscow over Ukraine, which at the time was perceived as militarily weaker and smaller. However, Ukraine's stronger-than-expected defense effort has meant that Putin's troops have not been able to make significant progress in the fight for control of eastern Ukraine[^4]. Western support has given the Ukrainian army advantages over Russia. This is confirmed by several analyses by the US think tank "Institute for the Study of War" (ISW).
Time is of the essence in the Ukraine war
Time is of the essence, as Ukraine has already stopped making payments for its economy. If Ukraine's economic system collapses, it will probably no longer be able to continue fighting in the current war with Russia, the US government said.
It is now up to congressional policymakers to provide the necessary funds to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia – and to ensure stability in the region. (tu with dpa/AFP)
Editor Tobias Utz wrote this article and then used an AI language model to optimize at his own discretion. All information has been carefully verified.