Ukrainians ‘freaking out’ over US funding ‘disaster’ – Politico
While Ukraine has publicly distanced itself from the congressional chaos in the US, officials privately admit that there is a lot of anxiety over future deliveries of weapons and financing by its key Western sponsor, Politico reported on Wednesday.
“We are freaking out. For us it is a disaster,” MP Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze was quoted by the outlet as saying.
Klympush-Tsintsadze served as vice prime minister under President Pyotr Poroshenko and remains a senior figure in his party.
An unnamed MP interviewed by the outlet called the situation in the US “a setup” for Ukraine that people in Kiev were “watching for now.”
They were referring to last week’s failure of the US Congress to approve additional Ukraine spending in the 45-day stopgap funding bill and the subsequent ouster of Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, a first in American history.
Representative Matt Gaetz, who spearheaded the motion to oust the speaker, accused McCarthy of striking a secret deal with the administration of President Joe Biden to keep Ukraine aid flowing. Gaetz is a vocal advocate for cutting Kiev loose, whereas the White House has repeatedly urged Congress to ensure continued funding of the Ukrainian government.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Kiev has enough money to last through October, but beyond that is far less certain should foreign aid dry up. The Western money goes not only to the military but covers civilian expenses as well.
After the stopgap budget was passed in the US Congress, Ukrainian MP Yaroslav Zhelezniak lamented that his country had become “hostages of their [Americans’] internal politics” and shared his ideas on how to ensure resumption of the cash flow. “The biggest (public) complaint about us is corruption,” he said in a social media post on Sunday. “We have to go through these 45 days without a major corruption scandal.”
The MP claimed that the Ukrainians were “told exactly that” during “the visit,” apparently referring to the US delegation headed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who came to Kiev in early September. He urged President Vladimir Zelensky to deal with people “who became the symbols of corruption in Ukraine and of scamming international partners” regardless of how useful his office finds them.
Zhelezniak didn’t call out the purported grifters by name, but suggested they should “f**k off,” or the aid will be gone for good.