Zelensky angered by lack of help from EU
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has lashed out at the EU, accusing the bloc of deliberately withholding €8 billion ($8.18 billion) in aid promised to his country amid the conflict with Russia.
“Every day and in different ways, I remind some EU leaders that Ukrainian pensioners, our displaced persons, our teachers and other people, who depend on payments from the budget shouldn’t be hostages of their indecision or bureaucracy,” Zelensky said in a video address on Telegram on Thursday.
The EU has suspended the allocation of €8 billion, and this “artificial delay in macro-financial aid for our country is either a crime or a mistake,” he insisted.
The president did not name the nations responsible for withholding the money, but expressed hope that it’s only a mistake “and it will be corrected.”
Earlier this week, the deputy head of Zelensky’s office, Igor Zhovkva, said that Ukraine has so far received just €1 billion from Brussels, while “some EU countries, including Germany” are blocking the transfer of another €8 billion.
With Kiev unable to patch the holes in its budget due to the fighting and the dire economic situation, the EU promised in May to provide Ukraine with €9 billion in subsidies and low-interest loans by the end of 2022.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.