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8 Dec, 2023 03:23

Western aid to Ukraine falls off a cliff – German monitor

Fewer donors pledge smaller new packages, with the focus shifting towards weapons, IfW Kiel has said
Western aid to Ukraine falls off a cliff – German monitor

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

The research institution maintains Ukraine Support Tracker, a database of public aid pledges, which it updated this week. Between August and October, the value of new packages reportedly dropped to just €2.11 billion ($2.28 bn), marking an 87% decrease from the same period last year.

Of the 42 donor nations monitored, only 20 committed to providing new assistance in those three months. IfW Kiel said this new funding was the lowest sum it had observed since it started monitoring contributions in January 2022. The majority of aid actually delivered was sent under multi-year programs pledged previously.

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

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 is projected to run out within weeks.

President Joe Biden implied that other Western nations would follow the lead of the US 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.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has blamed a 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.