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26 Jan, 2024 07:55

Trump derailing Ukraine aid package – WaPo

The US Republican frontrunner has slammed a potential deal unblocking funding for Kiev as a “gift” to Democrats
Trump derailing Ukraine aid package – WaPo

Former US President and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is undermining Republican efforts to strike a border deal with Democrats that will pave the way for more funding from Washington to Ukraine, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has for weeks been asking Congress to approve a supplemental budget request which includes another $60 billion for Kiev. Republicans have been blocking the package by demanding that the White House does more to address security on the US-Mexico border in return.

The GOP and Democrats have been trying to resolve the impasse, with the potential border deal reportedly revolving around measures to make it harder for migrants to seek asylum and a mechanism to essentially close the frontier when the number of arrivals is extremely high.

However, according to WaPo sources, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday that Trump’s opposition to the deal complicates its future. McConnell is said to have described the ex-president as the Republican “nominee” in the 2024 presidential election, explaining that Trump wanted to campaign on the border crisis issue.

Trump has been publicly critical of Washington’s efforts to fund Ukraine and has slammed the border deal, warning fellow party members that it “would be another gift to the radical left Democrats.” The agreement, he noted, “will be meaningless in terms of border security,” adding that Americans could only change the situation by voting for him.

Commenting on new concerns, Democrat Senator Chris Murphy suggested that Republicans will “make a decision in the next 24 hours as to whether they actually want to get something done or whether they want to leave the border a mess for political reasons.” He went on to warn if the GOP rejects the deal, Moscow will prevail in the Ukraine conflict, putting Europe at risk.

Delays in Western aid to Ukraine have stoked fears among its backers that Kiev will now have a much harder time fighting Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has warned that Kiev’s military “will move backward” without Western support while the country’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has described ammo shortages as “a very real and pressing problem.” 

Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms deliveries to Ukraine, warning that they would only prolong the conflict without changing its outcome. It has also argued that the West’s support for the Kiev regime makes it a direct participant in the hostilities.