Don't Let US Aid Package Make You Complacent – ​​Politico

Don't Let US Aid Package Make You Complacent – ​​Politico

“The issue is not a matter of months, it is a matter of days and weeks,” European Council President Charles Michel said after a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also pledged to announce more air defense assistance to Ukraine in the coming days.

But Washington's renewed support risks easing pressure on the European Union, said two European diplomats, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

After months of procrastination, a US aid package worth $95 billion was approved in the US House of Representatives last Saturday, and is now on its way to the Senate. After approval there, it will likely go directly to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign. Of the total amount, $60.8 billion has been allocated to Ukraine to modernize weapons, renovate silos and fund the logistics needed to get weapons out of storage sites across Europe and to the front line.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “We all welcome the decision of the US House of Representatives… but we in Europe cannot and should not relax.” | Olivier Matisse/EFE via EPA

“We will see… more US deliveries now as well and then we will see how that affects the overall calculations,” Swedish Defense Minister Pall Johnson told reporters on Monday, 48 hours after the US vote.

So far few EU countries have publicly responded to Berlin's call to send air defense systems to Ukraine, although a senior diplomat said some countries may choose to support air defense on a non-public basis.

Although alternative surface-to-air systems exist, defense experts consider U.S.-made Patriot missiles to be Ukraine's most effective option for use against Russia. Six EU countries possess Patriot missiles – Germany, Poland, Greece, Romania, Spain and the Netherlands – but it is unclear whether any will be delivered to Kiev.

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