Kyiv’s Foreign Minister Welcomes $61 Billion Aid as Is a Start, but Full-Scale War Mobilization Needed

After the U.S. Congress finally passed the supplemental war budget of $61 billion for Ukraine last week (cf. SAS 17/24), Kyiv’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the vote, but told London’s The Guardian (april 24) that it was simply not enough. “No single package can stop the Russians”, he said. “The West has to realize the era of peace in Europe is over.” In other words, the war and the war mobilization will continue forever, which is in sync with the calls from so many European leaders for implementing a “war economy” now.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Ukrainian forces continue to suffer setbacks. The head of the Armed Forces, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, just reported tactical retreat from other villages in the east of the country. (Recall that Syrskyi was appointed in early February after the forced resignation of his predecessor, Gen. Zaluzhny, for admitting that the war was “at a stalemate” (cf. SAS 45, 49/23)). Nonetheless, the United States has allocated its largest military aid package so far, valued at $6.1 bn, taken from the $61 bn, involving new equipment to augment Ukraine’s Patriot systems, air defenses and munitions – to the benefit of the U.S. defense industry which is to produce it all.

Moreover, the number of deaths and injuries in the Army has been so high that the Ukrainian cabinet recently decreed that men between 18 and 60 years old who are deemed fit for military service will only be able to renew their passports within Ukraine, forcing those who took refuge abroad to return, where they will presumably be subject to the draft. According to Eurostat, some 860,000 Ukrainian men 18 years of age or older are now living in EU countries.

Coming back to the permanent war perspective, it was endorsed in an essay published April 26 by London’s Royal Institute of International Affairs, sometimes called the British monarchy’s think tank. Author Olga Tokariuk calls for a more lasting arrangement by which Western funding of Kyiv’s war machine will go on indefinitely, without concern for political considerations in the countries providing the funding. However, she warns, “U.S. support should not be overly relied upon. Europe must act too, using the time Ukraine has bought it to get serious about defense.”

Add to that that President Zelenskyy has announced he is seeking a 10-year security agreement with the United States, of the type that has already been signed with France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and other European countries. This is an effort to bypass the formal admittance of Ukraine into NATO by replacing it with bilateral security agreements with individual NATO member states.

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