Divisions in U.S. over Ukraine aid
Divisions in U.S. over Ukraine aid
In a major sign of division across partisan lines, the U.S. Congress has approved no new aid for the Ukraine war in the stopgap U.S. spending bill that was passed on Saturday to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

TEHRAN (Iran News) – In a major sign of division across partisan lines, the U.S. Congress has approved no new aid for the Ukraine war in the stopgap U.S. spending bill that was passed on Saturday to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.

It all comes as NATO member Slovakia has elected a prime minister who is strongly opposed to the Ukraine war and won’t send a “single bullet” for Kyiv, reversing Slovakia’s policy toward the conflict.

There are two major factors why the U.S. Congress included no new money for Ukraine.

First is the reluctance of Republican lawmakers to provide any funds for Ukraine as they accuse the government in Kyiv of doing little to combat corruption.

This is an allegation that the Ukrainian government has dismissed.

The same Republicans in Congress also argue that as the United States faces heavy budget deficits, the federal government should be spending this money domestically or to raise Washington’s ability to compete with China’s broad development.

In the lead-up to the stopgap U.S. spending bill vote, it was evident that opposition to the military assistance for Ukraine was growing across partisan lines, amid different amendments to a bill mainly focused on prohibiting all military assistance to Ukraine, gaining more votes and breathing new life into a process that threatened a federal government shutdown.

Highlighting the sensitivity of the matter, Republican senators led by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz accused Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of striking a deal with President Biden to approve the last-minute government spending deal that did not include the Ukraine money, which Biden had been seeking, in exchange for McCarthy agreeing to hold another vote on the matter later.

During a speech on the House floor addressed at his fellow Republican McCarthy, Gaetz angrily asked: “What was the secret side deal on Ukraine?”.

However, by Tuesday night the Republicans ousted McCarthy as the speaker amid infighting within the GOP.

“Kevin McCarthy is a creature of the swamp. He has risen to power by collecting special interest money and redistributing that money in exchange for favors. We are breaking the fever now,” Gaetz told reporters after the vote.

He had earlier pointed out that the U.S. “must suspend all foreign aid for the war in Ukraine and demand that all combatants in this conflict reach a peace agreement immediately.”

The White House had said that an additional $24 billion in military assistance was needed for the Ukraine war.

On Wednesday Republican front-runner for the presidential election Donald Trump accused President Biden of putting “Ukraine first” and “America last”.

Whether this policy is playing with voters’ minds ahead of the presidential election or if the statements of Republicans are genuine is something that remains to be seen.

The second major element against the surprising suspension of further military aid to Ukraine is the polls among the American public.

Surveys show that U.S. support for Ukraine among Americans is slowly eroding away amid a war that they do not understand.

This may prove critical in the election time as the much anticipated and strongly publicized Ukrainian spring counter-offensive to recapture territory captured by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine has only made very little progress despite the vast amount of sophisticated weapons shipped to Ukraine, especially by the U.S.

This has played a role in the minds of American voters and with the winter season approaching along with Russian troops strongly fortifying their positions, Western military experts have admitted the winter conditions, in particular the heavy mud, will not enable Ukrainian forces to break the Russian lines.

On Tuesday, the White House said that Biden had spoken with the leaders of the U.S. allies, the European Union, and the NATO military alliance on how to coordinate support for Ukraine.

Amid concern that support for Ukraine is fading, Biden’s call included the leaders of Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Romania, Britain and France, as well as the heads of the European Commission and the European Council, the White House said in a statement.

Democrats, who strongly support military aid to Ukraine, insist that Congress will back continued assistance.

In the House of Representatives, where Republicans hold a majority, there are indications that votes on more military aid to Ukraine will be blocked.

The U.S. has sent tens of billions of dollars worth of military assistance to Ukraine, which critics say is only prolonging the war and suffering of Ukrainians.

Some experts argue the U.S. is fighting Russia with Ukraine being used as a proxy.

Russia says the congressional vote was a sign of increasing division in the West.

“We have repeatedly said before that according to our forecasts fatigue from this conflict, fatigue from the completely absurd sponsorship of the Kyiv regime, will grow in various countries, including the United States,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

This comes as Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador denounced as “irrational” U.S. military aid to Ukraine and called on Washington to allocate more resources to help Latin American countries instead.

“…How much have they destined for the Ukraine war? 30 to 50 billion dollars for the war,” he told reporters. “Which is the most irrational thing you can have. And damaging.”

Analysts say that despite the Western media propaganda campaign against the Ukraine war, the people are questioning their governments’ statements on the war.

In Europe, former prime minister Robert Fico won the most votes in Slovakia’s election and has now been given a mandate to form a government.

His campaign slogan had called for “not a single round” of ammunition from Slovakia’s reserves to be sent to Ukraine.

Speaking at a press conference, Fico said, “We are not changing that we are prepared to help Ukraine in a humanitarian way. We are prepared to help with the reconstruction of the state, but you know our opinion on arming Ukraine.”

It’s a major turnaround for Slovakia as a NATO member that borders Ukraine and has taken in Ukrainian refugees since the war erupted in February 2022.

Slovakia’s outgoing government had delivered a major amount of weapons and other military assistance to Kyiv, most notably being among the first NATO members to send fighter jets to the Ukrainian Air Force.

Now Fico has said he will not send “another bullet” to help Ukraine fight Russia, whilst previously, during his campaign, described the Western sanctions against Russia as “useless” and pledged to veto a Ukrainian application to join NATO.

  • source : Tehrantimes