Europe’s Tug-of-War Over Ukraine Backing

( – Nearly two-and-half years into the Russia-Ukraine war, some European backers are questioning whether to continue delivering support to Ukraine. While some believe that the skepticism is related to upcoming elections in certain European countries, others think that the souring will persist after the elections are over. The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced on September 20 that Poland would discontinue the delivery of new weapons to Ukraine. The shocking revelation came after the two countries had a falling out over grain shipments. Poland believes that the shipments are affecting production for Polish farmers.

Morawiecki is up for re-election, and many believe that his actions are meant to gain the support of the Confederation Party of Poland. His challenger, Donald Tusk, could edge out a victory if Morawiecki does not take a strong stance regarding the grain dispute. Doubts about Ukraine joining the European Union have also made their way to the forefront of conversation, although previous skepticism was quickly shut down.

Estonia’s prime minister, Kaja Kallas, has also been tight-lipped about support for Ukraine after a scandal involving her husband’s continued business in Moscow was revealed. Although the foreign minister of the Baltic nation offered reassurance of continued support for Ukraine despite upcoming elections, Kallas’s silence is deafening.

The upcoming prime minister election in Slovakia will also be determinative of continued aid to Ukraine. Robert Fico, a former prime minister, is running as a pro-Russian candidate, and is avidly opposed to continued support for Ukraine. If Fico ends up winning the election, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban will have a new ally in the European Union.

This call to wind down assistance to the war-torn nation comes as Congress in the United States is negotiating another round of funding. A growing number of Republicans in the House and Senate are demanding an end to the aid. A stop-gap spending measure has been in limbo since Congress returned at the beginning of the month, with lawmakers demanding Ukrainian funding to be pulled from the measure.

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