Czech President Petr Pavel, a top NATO leader and ardent Ukraine supporter, told Seznam Zpravy on Dec. 19 that he expects “a new situation” next year that could favor Moscow.
The former military general said reasons include the 2024 U.S. presidential election that could see former President Donald Trump return to power, and geopolitical deterioration in the Middle East, diverting Western resources away from Ukraine.
International fiscal support for Ukraine has tapered off since the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, while global attention has shifted to Israel’s military response.
Kyiv is critically dependent on Western funds as it continues to battle against Russian forces. On Dec. 15, Hungary blocked €50bn in EU aid for Ukraine, while a bill authorizing over $60 billion in aid has been held up in the U.S. Congress with no end in sight.
Ukraine risks a serious economic downturn in 2024 unless its Western supporters can muster enough funds to fill a massive hole in its budget, Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko told POLITICO in November.
Kyiv continues to rely on allies to cover half of its overall national budget, a staggering $42 billion per year, through financial grants and loans.