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German MP: Europe must be prepared for US failure to support Ukraine, regardless of who is president

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 8, 2024 10:05 AM 3 min read
Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann in Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 28, 2024. (Maryam Majd/Getty Images)
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Europe must be more prepared for the U.S. to fail to support Ukraine, regardless of whether Donald Trump is elected president, German Defense Committee Chair Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told German news outlet t-online on Feb. 8.

Since fall 2023, partisan infighting has stalled a supplemental funding bill that includes $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.

A procedural vote on a bill that includes Ukraine aid, funds for Israel, and changes to U.S. border policy failed to get enough votes in the U.S. Senate on Feb. 7. Senators previously warned that despite months of bipartisan negotiations, the border security deal had no chance of passing in the Feb. 7 vote due to Republican opposition.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in response to the news that he never thought he would "see something like we are seeing now," blaming Trump for "threatening" lawmakers if they supported the package, CNN reported.

"The U.S. Senate's decision is more than regrettable, but unfortunately cannot be a surprise," Strack-Zimmermann, an MP for the Free Democratic Party, told t-online.

"Europe must be aware that the U.S. could fail to support Ukraine in the future, regardless of the outcome of the election in November."

Strack-Zimmermann also criticized European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who previously held the position of German defense minister.

Strack-Zimmermann described it as "astonishing" that von der Leyen "did not put this scenario on the Commission's table and that Europe is now staring at the USA unprepared."

According to Strack-Zimmermann, Berlin must now "take on the leadership role that is expected of Germany in supporting Ukraine, but which has so far been ignored, especially by the Chancellor," Olaf Scholz.

White House: EU funding for Ukraine no substitute for US leadership in military assistance
“But it’s not a substitute for American leadership when it comes to security assistance. And that is why it’s so critical for us to continue to urge Congress to pass that national security supplemental,” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

"We must all be aware that if Ukraine is not successful, peace and freedom throughout Europe are at risk," Strack-Zimmermann said.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael Roth described the blockade as "just a first foretaste of what could happen if Donald Trump is re-elected to the White House in November."

Trump's re-election would mean that "Europe's security would then no longer be guaranteed from one day to the next," said Roth, who is an MP for Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party.

Regardless of whether Trump is the next U.S. president, "we Europeans must finally take on more responsibility to contain and stop Russian imperialism," Roth said.

Trump is currently ahead in the polls to become the Republican nominee for the U.S. presidential election in November 2024.

Opinion: Protecting Ukraine aid from Western political dysfunction
With each passing day, it becomes increasingly evident that Western support for Ukraine has become ensnared in various domestic and geopolitical developments that have nothing to do with Ukraine’s struggle to defend itself. As Russia’s war of aggression approaches its second anniversary, it is cruci…
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