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The fight over support for Ukraine

Ukrainian and EU flags fly in central Kyiv as the city hosts an EU-Ukraine foreign ministers meeting, amid Russia's ongoing attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 2, 2023.

Ukrainian and EU flags fly in central Kyiv as the city hosts an EU-Ukraine foreign ministers meeting, amid Russia's ongoing attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine October 2, 2023.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine settles into a war of attrition, ongoing Western support will remain critical for Kyiv.

Aware of that, EU foreign ministers visited Ukraine’s capital on Monday – their first-ever meeting outside EU territory – to signal their continuing commitment to the country’s future. Later this year, the EU is expected to formalize the beginning of a long process to welcome Ukraine, and perhaps several other states, into the union.

In Washington, the news for Ukraine was not as rosy. As part of a deal to stop Republican hardliners in the House of Representatives from shutting down the US government, Democrats met their demand to drop the latest funding package for Ukraine from current spending plans.

This isn’t the end of US financial support for Kyiv, despite intensifying opposition from some Republicans, as well as from likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. President Biden will reportedly call allies to reassure them that US support will continue to flow. There will be more dollars and more US weapons headed for Ukraine in the coming months. But this deal to avoid a shutdown only funds the US government until Nov. 17, setting up more “shutdown showdowns” to come – and now a precedent has been set that Ukraine aid will be a crucial bargaining chip in future fights.

GZEROMEDIA

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