Sunday, June 23, 2024

Faced with growing American reluctance to send more military aid to Ukraine, European leaders are moving to fill the gap, vowing new support for Kyiv as it battles Russia in a war in Europe’s backyard.

Several countries — including Germany, Britain and Norway — are increasing production of weapons, especially the artillery ammunition that Ukraine so badly needs. Germany, once a laggard in providing aid to Ukraine, announced a week ago that it planned to double its support to $8.5 billion in 2024 and would deliver more crucial air-defense systems by the end of this year.

And European Union states are gearing up to train an additional 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers, bringing the total so far to 40,000.

“We really have to step up our game here,” Kajsa Ollongren, the Dutch defense minister, said at a forum this month at the Clingendael Institute, a think tank funded by the Dutch government.

But that may be little comfort to Ukraine, where a counteroffensive against invading Russian forces has stalled as winter approaches, and officials say more support is needed now, even as many countries turn their attention to the Israel-Gaza war.

In a worrying sign, the E.U. appears likely to fail an early test of its ability to sustain backing for Ukraine. A much touted pledge to donate one million rounds of 155-millimeter-caliber shells within one year to Ukraine is now widely expected to fall short.

“The million will not be reached — we must assume it,” Germany’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius, said this week, acknowledging the bloc will miss the March 2024 deadline.

European officials have long worried that rising Republican opposition to the military support that the United States is sending to Ukraine — $45 billion in weapons and other equipment so far — would diminish the leading American role in funding the war should President Biden lose re-election.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles