February 28, 2024

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Opportunities for broader support packages for Ukraine are growing in the EU and the US

Opportunities for broader support packages for Ukraine are growing in the EU and the US

InternationalJan 20 '24 at 5:50 PMAuthor of the books: BNR web editors and thijs pas

Given the slightly changing attitude of Hungary in the EU and Republicans in the US, things are actually starting to look a bit better with Western support for Ukraine. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's request to assess European support for Ukraine every year is not so crazy, says Rob de Wijk, founder of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies (HCSS) at BNR Boekestijn and De Wijk.

Opportunities for broader support packages for Ukraine are growing in the EU and the US

Such an annual assessment can be done, and according to De Wijk it is healthy. 'You can leave the veto for something that is already happening: an assessment. I think something like this might come out of it. But since Orban's ways are erratic, we don't know for sure. I am confident that another 50 billion euros will be released. In addition, there are new exports from Germany and France. 'It's starting to pick up in Europe, I have to say.'

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The reports from across the sea are not adverse either, says historian Arendt Jan Pogestijn. He points to conversations with members of Congress and President Joe Biden's positive tone about deals on the Mexico border — a major sticking point for Republican support in Congress. More than that, says De Wijk: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic counterpart Chuck Schumer have expressed reasonable optimism about the $110 billion in aid.

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It will be clear in a few weeks

De Wijk says there could even be a referendum next week. 'It wouldn't surprise me if it becomes clear in a few weeks what that support will look like and if it will be available.' Meanwhile, Ukrainian grain exports have returned to their previous levels: 7.5 to 8 million tons per month. 'Exports there are really huge. It has to do with the fact that they're using those naval drones to chase almost the entire Russian fleet to the other side of the Black Sea.

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This means that Ukrainian ships can pass more safely through the corridor on the western coast of the Black Sea. It also offers opportunities to reopen international flight connections. 'They have been stalled for two years, but this indicates that the impasse is building to the point where there is really no more movement. At that impasse, Ukraine can try to resume as normal a life as possible and get the economy back on track. But that doesn't mean the war will end soon.'

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Given the slightly changing attitude of Hungary in the EU and Republicans in the US, things are actually starting to look a bit better with Western support for Ukraine. (ANP/EPA)