The Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, voiced his frustration in a television interview on Friday, highlighting the lack of clarity from the West regarding Ukraine’s victory. While the US and its allies have repeatedly pledged their support to Kiev for “as long as it takes,” Danilov pointed out that they have never specified what constitutes victory for Ukraine.
According to Danilov, the Western backers have never explicitly stated that they would support Ukraine until it achieves victory. Instead, they say that they will support Ukraine until it is able to make decisions on its own. This ambiguity leaves Ukraine uncertain about the long-term commitment from its allies and raises questions about the duration of their support.
Danilov emphasized the importance of having a clear understanding of the West’s commitment to Ukraine. He stated that Kiev needs to know if the support will continue until the conflict is resolved in their favor or if it has an expiration date.
These concerns regarding Western support come at a time when Ukraine is facing financial challenges. Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergey Marchenko has acknowledged that the number of countries willing to provide financial aid to Ukraine is decreasing. There are also concerns about the amount of taxpayer funds these countries are willing to allocate to support Kiev.
Marchenko previously reported that Ukraine has a monthly deficit of approximately $5 billion, with a significant portion of its budget relying on foreign loans and grants. The decreasing financial support adds to the urgency for Ukraine to ascertain the longevity of Western assistance.
In the midst of these uncertainties, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby made a statement this week that the Pentagon could only support Ukraine for a few weeks if Congress fails to pass a new funding bill. This comment followed opposition from some Republican lawmakers who have objected to President Joe Biden’s request for an additional $24 billion for Ukraine. They have threatened a government shutdown unless the funds for Ukraine are dropped from the latest government funding bill.
Amidst these funding debates, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky recently voiced his concerns about waning support from Western leaders. Zelensky warned that failing to support Ukraine would be equivalent to siding with Russia. He cautioned Western governments that they could face electoral consequences and potentially encounter challenges from disgruntled Ukrainian refugees whom they have sheltered if they do not continue their assistance to Kiev.
In conclusion, the lack of clarity regarding the West’s commitment to Ukraine’s victory has become a cause for concern. Aleksey Danilov’s remarks shed light on the need for a clear understanding of the extent and duration of Western support. As Ukraine faces financial challenges and ongoing debates over funding, the urgency to define victory and secure long-term assistance from its allies becomes paramount. President Zelensky’s warning serves as a reminder to Western governments about the potential consequences of withdrawing support and the implications it could have on their relationships with Ukraine.