US funds for Kyiv on hold: bleak prospects?

The US Senate has blocked President Joe Biden's request for a financial aid package of more than 110 billion dollars (almost 102 billion euros) for Ukraine and Israel. All Republicans as well as the independent democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders, who had expressed concerns about Israel's actions in Gaza, voted against the corresponding bill. With further EU aid for Kyiv also hanging in the balance, Europe's press examines the options for Ukraine.

Open/close all quotes
El Mundo (ES) /

Internal haggling

El Mundo voices concern:

“Kyiv's allies are feeling the effects of the conflict and are immersed in their own internal conflicts and the war in the Middle East. ... But neither Europe nor the US can allow the war against Ukraine to become a frozen conflict. We are seeing this now in the US, where Congress is blocking new funds. ... The cause is domestic: the Republicans are demanding that Joe Biden tighten his immigration policy on the Mexican border in exchange for the new aid package. It is undesirable for internal conflicts to be used in this way to haggle over a war in which the security of Europe and the defence of the democracies of the free world are at stake.”

Irish Independent (IE) /

US would pay dearly for Russian victory

Continued Western aid to Ukraine will deter the Kremlin from further wars of aggression, explains the Irish Independent:

“If Russia were to move against Nato alliessuch as the tiny Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, let alone Poland or some other large Nato ally Washington would be obliged by its treaty commitments to send troops to defend them. ... The cost of deploying US troops to defend vulnerable Nato allies against a nuclear-armed power is imponderable. It would surely be huge, judging by the price paid for other US wars in this century, which dwarf Congress's appropriations for Ukraine.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

The same scenario in Europe

Le Figaro sees parallels between the Republicans and Orbán:

“Europe is hardly faring any better with the Hungarian prime minister. ... Yesterday he was asked by Emmanuel Macron to explain his good relations with Vladimir Putin. Ukraine may soon lack the weapons and ammunition it needs to withstand the pressure from Russia. Some suspect a strategy to push Zelensky to negotiate - even if it's from a position of weakness. Western leaders deny this, nevertheless it has been apparent for some time that their support does not match their stated interests.”

NV (UA) /

Just be patient

The dispute in the US Senate is no major cause for concern, investment banker Serhiy Fursa counters in NV:

“Does it mean that the US is ready to give up on Ukraine? Of course not. Does it mean that there is a terrible secret plan to force Ukraine to make peace by delaying aid? That's nonsense, of course, because there are objective reasons for this delay, and only a crazy conspiracy theorist could believe that the debate about the border with Mexico, which is so important for US society, was organised specifically to influence the Ukrainian government. ... So we should just wait until the Democrats and Republicans get tired of squabbling. And hope it happens before the holidays.”

Ukrajinska Prawda (UA) /

Tap into Russia's frozen assets

Ukraine must secure additional sources of financing, writes Ukrainska Pravda:

“Even if the risk of Ukraine not receiving a new EU aid package or US funding is relatively small, it's already clear that it will have more difficulty financing its spending. ... Clearly it will have to look for alternative sources. One of these is the assets of the Russian Central Bank and the Russian oligarchs which have been frozen by the West. ... Both the West and Ukraine must change their attitude towards frozen Russian assets as the war drags on. Because they will not be a source of funding for the country's reconstruction once it has won, if it doesn't win.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Not just the Republicans are to blame

A little self-criticism of the West's conduct to date wouldn't be amiss, Corriere della Sera interjects:

“Biden initially underestimated the Russian threat, then he overestimated the Ukrainian armed forces. He was always hesitant when it came to deliveries of modern weapons and failed to convince his public that America's vital interests were at stake in Ukraine. In Europe, it is convenient to invoke the 'rise of populism' (from Trump to Wilders) to cover up responsibilities. Germany, Italy and other European Nato members had promised more defence spending. ... From France to Hungary, there are those who are eager to return to the court of the tsar.”