Uncertainties hang over Ukraine aid: tracker

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 4/25/2024 5:22:52 AM

The new US package of $61 billion in aid for Ukraine will not bring the war-battered country out of the woods, according to the Kiel Institute, which has been tracking the help provided by Kyiv's allies.

"This is sorely needed support, but in the grand scheme of things it is not a game changer and will only provide temporary relief," said Christoph Trebesch, head of the Ukraine Support Tracker at the German think tank, which published its latest update Thursday.

"Should the US pass no further support packages in late 2024 or 2025, Ukraine is very likely to face the same gap in support in 2025," he said.

During months of blockage of the package in the US Congress, Ukrainian forces have run short of ammunition and have suffered battlefield setbacks.

- More than 112 billion euros -

By February 29, the European Union, other members of the NATO alliance and countries such as Australia and Japan had come up with 112 billion euros ($120 billion) in military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion of February 24, 2022, according to the Kiel Institute's update -- compiled before the latest US aid was unblocked.

The European Union and its member states have pledged 52.4 billion euros, but over a period of several years. The United States had meanwhile provided 43.2 billion euros that has already been allocated.

- Long-delayed US aid -

After months of blockage in Congress, President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed legislation authorising $61 billion in economic and military aid for Ukraine, with the Pentagon quickly announcing a new $1 billion package headed for Kyiv including desperately needed air defence and artillery munitions.

The Kiel Institute said the new US package contained approximately 23 billion euros in military aid.

- Europe disappoints -

In February, EU leaders overcame months of opposition from Hungarian leader Viktor Orban to agree 50 billion euros of aid for Ukraine.

But earlier this month the bloc frustrated Ukraine's plea for more air defence capabilities by failing to come up with concrete commitments.

Ukraine has asked for seven additional US-made Patriot air defence systems, which are capable of shooting down Russia's hypersonic missiles.

So far only Germany has answered Kyiv's call by saying it would send an extra Patriot system to Ukraine.

Several EU nations possess the systems, including Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

- From light weapons to tanks -

The West's weapon contributions have evolved along with the situation on the battlefield, morphing from tens of thousands of light weapons after the start of the invasion to helicopters and howitzers, and then to sophisticated western tanks including American Abrams, British Challengers and German Leopards.

Shining BD