Ukraine needs ‘predictable financing’ to defeat Russia: EU chief
"Ukraine can prevail in this war. But we must continue to empower their resistance," the head European Union's executive arm told Davos.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock looks on during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 16, 2024. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
“Ukraine can prevail in this war. But we must continue to empower their resistance,” the head of the European Union’s executive arm told the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“Ukrainians need predictable financing throughout 2024 and beyond. They need a sufficient and sustained supply of weapons to defend Ukraine and regain its rightful territory.”
EU leaders will hold a summit on February 1 to try to overcome a block from Hungary on providing 50 billion euros ($54.5 billion) in financial aid to Ukraine over the next four years.
The government in Kyiv desperately needs the funds to prop up its economy and keep services working as Russia’s all-out war heads towards its second anniversary.
Budapest — Moscow’s closest ally in the 27-nation EU — has signalled it could agree to the aid if it is given the chance each year to veto further payments.
EU officials say that if they cannot win over Hungary, the other 26 member states will look to provide cash outside the EU’s budget, but this would likely be for a shorter timeframe.
The debate in Europe comes as Ukraine’s other major backer, the United States, struggles to approve a $60 billion aid package in the face of opposition from Republicans in Congress.
Despite the concerns over funding and Ukraine’s failure to make a breakthrough on the battlefield, von der Leyen said Russia was still “failing on strategic goals”.
“Russia has lost roughly half of its military capabilities. Ukraine has driven Russia out of half the territories it had captured. Ukraine has pushed back Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” she said.
“Russia’s failure is also economic. Sanctions have decoupled its economy from modern technology and innovation. It is now dependent on China.”
© Agence France-Presse