The EU’s top diplomat on Thursday said the European bloc could not provide Ukraine with enough support without the US amid uncertainty about when Congress might authorize the next tranche of spending on the proxy war.
“Europe cannot fill the gap of the US,” Josep Borrell said after arriving in Spain for a gathering of European leaders, according to POLITICO.
The EU is close to approving a new economic aid package for Ukraine worth 50 billion euros that would cover 2024-2027, although Hungary could further delay the package. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the massive aid package should be approved within the next few months but said US support still remains crucial.
Von der Leyen also said she was “confident” that the US would continue supporting Ukraine but acknowledged she wasn’t sure when new spending would be authorized.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the US has another tranche of economic aid worth over $1 billion to fund the Ukrainian government through the month of October. If a new aid package isn’t authorized by Congress in the next month, the funds will dry up.
The Pentagon has said it still has $5.4 billion in funds to send weapons to Ukraine but has warned it’s running out of money to replace weapons sent to Ukraine. Because of the uncertainty, the Pentagon has said it’s restricted the flow of some arms to the US’s own forces.
The majority of Congress still supports the proxy war, but it’s not clear when they will pass a new Ukraine aid bill after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House speaker.
President Biden is looking for an additional $24 billion in spending and has acknowledged he’s worried about the situation, although he also hinted there are other ways to get the money.