Aid to Ukraine: The war assistance destined for Ukraine is meeting constant obstacles. In the United States, a notable divide has surfaced. GOP Lawmakers are pressing for a clear endgame in Ukraine, while others advocate for shifting the focus to Israel.
This rift makes it challenging for President Biden to provide substantial assistance to Ukraine. Simultaneously, in Europe, concerns are mounting as EU nations highlight the adverse impact of the war on European economies. Consequently, the flow of aid to Ukraine has stalled. Despite these challenges, a minor amount of assistance persists.
Recently, the EU pledged $1.6 billion in aid to Ukraine. However, a substantial portion of this aid is currently on hold, with Hungary and Slovakia delaying its distribution.
Vetoed: No $52bn for Ukraine
During the recent European Union summit, Hungary and Slovakia’s prime ministers took a firm stand against a €50 billion ($52.8 billion) aid package for Ukraine, as reported by Politico. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban contended that the EU’s support for Kyiv has proven ineffective, stating that Ukrainians cannot secure victory on the front lines and Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no signs of backing down.
Meanwhile, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico voiced concerns about corruption within Ukraine. As per Fico, Slovakia’s new government is not ready to help an administration that has no clear idea where the war money is going.
Whereas, Viktor Orban, in a statement to Kossuth Radio, declared the EU’s strategy for Kyiv a failure. Fico emphasized Slovakia’s independent stance in Brussels, asserting that the new Slovak government would focus solely on humanitarian aid and not provide military support to Ukraine.
New Friends, Old Goals: The Slovak-Hungary Problem
Orban found support for his position in Fico, who had recently been appointed prime minister. Prior to the joint announcement of vetoing the $52.8 billion aid package, Orban had met Russian President Vladimir Putin, solidifying his stance against Brussels regarding the Ukraine conflict. This united front reflects a significant challenge to the EU’s approach to the ongoing crisis.
You see, both of the European leaders are quite similar in their approach to Ukraine. They argue that the allies’ assistance serves to prolong the conflict rather than bring resolution. Both leaders advocate for halting the war and pursuing peace through engagement with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is acutely aware of this shift; Viktor Orban, once a lone campaigner against the war, now has a new ally in Fico, reinforcing their anti-war stance. This united perspective emphasizes the urgency for diplomatic solutions, marking a significant change in the dynamics of the conflict.
Fico’s long-standing hostility, which dates back to 2009, combined with Orban’s adamant opposition presents a difficult picture for Ukraine’s future. With these two countries working together, Ukraine will have a difficult time getting EU war assistance. Things have gotten worse for President Zelensky. It will be fascinating to observe how Zelensky prepares the ground for the pair to consent to Ukraine’s demands.