This aerial photograph shows a destroyed church and other destruction in the village of Bohorodychne, Donetsk region, on January 27, 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Bohorodychne is a village in the Donetsk region that came under heavy attack by Russian forces in June 2022, and captured on August 17, 2022. The Armed Forces of Ukraine announced on September 12, 2022, that they had taken back control over the village. (Photo by Roman PILIPEY / AFP)
(AFP) – Ukraine‘s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday warned that a drop in aid from the United States to Kyiv would send a poor message, as US President Joe Biden faces a Republican blockade on further support.
With an eye on US aid potentially diminishing, Zelensky urged Germany to use its economic weight to rally EU partners to give more to Kyiv in its fight against Russia.
“Passivity from the United States or the lack of support would be a bad signal,” he told German national broadcaster ARD.
That is not right for anyone, Zelensky warned.
“Germany can manage to consolidate the EU,” he said, in response to a question on whether he hoped that Berlin would take on a bigger role should help from the United States fall away.
“Many countries have important economic relationships with Germany and their economy is dependent on Germany’s decisions because Germany has a strong economy,” he said.
In a separate interview on Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged European nations to step up weapons pledges to Ukraine, raising the spectre that help from the US, the biggest contributor, could end.
“Europe must do more to support Ukraine in the defence of its own country,” Scholz told Die Zeit weekly, adding that the contributions that European nations have earmarked for 2024 so far are “not big enough.”
Biden has made backing Ukraine a priority and US weapons and financial assistance have been crucial in helping the pro-Western country battle against a far larger attacking Russian force.
But opposition Republicans have led a push to halt the effort, refusing to authorise new budget outlays unless the Democrats first agree to sweeping, tough new measures against illegal migration.
With the US in an election year that could again pit Biden against Donald Trump, Zelensky has warned that a Trump return to the White House would likely bring a “different policy” on the war.
© Agence France-Presse