Before the Ukraine vote in the US Congress: Trump demands more money from Europe for Kiev

Before a vote in the US Congress planned for Saturday on new billions in aid for Ukraine, former President Donald Trump called on the Europeans to provide more financial support to the country. The USA spends more money on Ukraine than Europe, the right-wing populist complained on Thursday. Trump's Republicans have been blocking a $61 billion aid package for Kiev for months. Trump's comments were rejected by EU Council President Charles Michel as a misrepresentation of EU aid.

Trump wrote on his online network Truth Social: “We all agree that the survival and strength of Ukraine should be much more important to Europe than to us, but it is important to us too! Get going, Europe!”. He continued: “How is it that the United States is pouring over $100 billion more into the Ukraine war than Europe, and we have an ocean separating us!”

The US Republicans' likely renewed presidential candidate called on Europeans to raise the same sums as the US for Ukraine “to help a country in desperate need.”

EU Council President Michel explained that it was important to “clarify the facts”. The numbers speak for themselves. “The EU contribution to Ukraine: 143 billion euros ($150 billion),” Michel wrote on the online service X. In his message to Trump, he added: “Don't let (Russian President Vladimir) Putin intimidate you. We do not do it.”

In a balance sheet published in February, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) calculated that the EU is by far the largest donor of aid to Ukraine. Accordingly, the EU and its member states pledged a total of 144.1 billion euros for Ukraine between the start of Russia's war of aggression on the neighboring country in February 2022 and mid-January 2024, including financial and military aid as well as humanitarian aid. The USA is in second place with 67.7 billion euros.

However, there is a big gap between the commitments and the actual resources allocated so far, especially at the EU. According to the IfW, only 77.2 billion euros of the EU commitments were actually made available. This discrepancy arises from the fact that the funds committed by the EU are usually spread over several years.

In the USA, new aid to Ukraine has been blocked by Republicans for months. Trump did not comment on Thursday on how he feels about the new approach announced by Republican leader of the US House of Representatives Mike Johnson. Johnson now wants to bring Ukraine and other foreign aid to a vote in the Congressional Chamber on Saturday.

Trump is seen as the mastermind behind the long blockade of aid to Ukraine. Last week, Johnson traveled to the state of Florida to meet Trump. What was discussed regarding Ukraine was not known.

However, because of the announced vote on aid to Ukraine, Johnson is threatened with a revolt by the ultra-right wing of his group and his dismissal. He has only headed the chamber since October.

According to Johnson's plan, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a package totaling $95 billion (€89 billion) on Saturday. In addition to the $61 billion for Ukraine, it includes $26 billion for Israel and $8 billion for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific. Johnson wants to have the individual parts of the package voted on separately.

The Republicans have a narrow majority in the House of Representatives. Because of the resistance of the right-wing wing, the Ukraine aid will only go through if the Republicans behind Johnson vote for the bill together with representatives of the Democrats. After that, the Senate – the other chamber of Congress – would have to vote on the Ukraine aid. President Joe Biden said this week he also “strongly” supports the new package and will sign it “immediately” after passage in Congress.

The head of the US secret service CIA, Bill Burns, warned in a speech of the “very real risk” that without new US military aid, Ukraine could lose the war against the aggressor Russia this year. Ukraine has recently suffered a series of terrain losses. According to its own statements, it is primarily lacking ammunition and air defense resources.