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Reuters: Over 100 EU lawmakers call for Congress to approve Ukraine aid

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 12, 2023 2:21 AM 2 min read
2023/11/15: The EU flag and the Ukrainian flag fly together by the Tower of the British Parliament as part of a pro-EU demonstration in London on Nov. 15, 2023. (Krisztian Elek/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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More than 100 European MPs have signed an open letter to the United States Congress urging legislators to release aid to Ukraine, Reuters reported Dec. 11.

The officials represent at least 17 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Poland, and will send the letter to their U.S. counterparts on Dec. 12. The letter signals growing anxieties among European lawmakers as Republicans in Congress continue to block funds for Ukraine.

Benjamin Haddad, a French MP who belongs to President Emmanuel Macron's party, is the lead author on the letter, whose signatories include Germany's Michael Roth, the chair of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, and Italian politician Giulio Tremonti.

"For years, American leaders, Democrats and Republicans, have asked Europeans to take more responsibility for their own security. We agree with this legitimate request," the letter, which was reviewed by Reuters, reads.

The EU officials said that Europe's contributions to Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion have equaled those of the U.S..

"Moreover, military spending has risen all across Europe," they said. "American military aid however is critical and urgent."

The letter will reach U.S. lawmakers on the same day that President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the Senate and meet with House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Zelensky was supposed to speak to the Senate on Dec. 5, ahead of a Dec. 6 vote on the funding bill, but the speech was canceled at the last minute. Republican senators blocked the bill in a narrow vote that fell along partisan lines.  

Johnson, the House Speaker, has said Republicans will continue to block any additional funding for Ukraine until Democrats concede to tighter restrictions at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"A Putin victory would embolden our enemies around the world: they are watching and hoping we grow tired. Ukrainians are fighting so we don't have to," the EU officials said in their letter.

The European Council will convene at a summit in Brussels Dec. 14-15 to discuss providing additional aid to Ukraine and launching EU accession talks.

US domestic political turmoil threatens to undermine support for Ukraine
The Republican party has increasingly soured on continuing to support Ukraine, often citing economic reasons. However, what ultimately doomed the Dec. 6 vote was the mixing of U.S. aid to Ukraine with other political issues, namely domestic border security and the U.S. aid for longtime ally Israel.

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