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Updated February 29th, 2024 at 13:31 IST

Ukraine's finance minister sounds alarm, $3 Bn monthly aid needed amid war

Despite EU aid approval, US support faces delays due to congressional deadlock, exacerbating Ukraine's challenges.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Zelenskyy Ukraine
Despite EU aid approval, US support faces delays due to congressional deadlock, exacerbating Ukraine's challenges. | Image:AP
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Kyiv: In a tumultuous time for Ukraine, Finance Minister Seri Marshenko has issued a stark warning, shedding light on the nation's precarious financial predicament. Marshenko's revelation that Ukraine requires a staggering $3 billion in foreign aid every month to navigate through 2024 underscores the gravity of the situation. As the country grapples with mounting economic challenges, the landscape of assistance is fraught with obstacles that threaten its stability and security.  

Despite having received significant aid in the past, Ukraine now faces a daunting reality as crucial support from the United States remains elusive. Compounded by substantial delays in aid packages, the nation finds itself at a critical juncture, with the European Union's recent approval of a substantial 50-billion-euro aid package offering some respite. However, the much-needed financial and military support from the US languishes in congressional gridlock, hampered by opposition from Republican lawmakers. This political impasse exacerbates Ukraine's financial woes and underscores the urgent need for swift and decisive action.  

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Innovative strategies implemented amidst budget deficits

Amid these challenges, Ukraine is proactively exploring innovative strategies to mitigate its burgeoning budget deficit, which currently stands at a staggering $37 billion for the year. From leveraging domestic debt markets to mobilizing state-owned enterprises to front-load budget payments, the government is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to bridge the fiscal gap. However, Finance Minister Marshenko emphasizes that while these domestic initiatives are crucial, the lifeline of international aid remains indispensable for Ukraine's stability and security.

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Credit- AP

In the midst of Ukraine's financial turmoil, controversy erupts over Germany's reluctance to supply Taurus KEPD 350 air-launched cruise missiles to the nation. Chancellor Olaf Scholz's assertion that such a transfer is "out of the question" reignites debate over the complexities of international arms agreements and geopolitical dynamics. Scholz's stance reflects concerns over the backend support required to operate the system, as well as apprehensions regarding the risk of provoking Russia.  

Debate on Taurus missile deployment and German principles

The larger context surrounding Scholz's statement stems partially from an earlier disagreement between France and other NATO allies, including Germany, regarding the potential deployment of troops to Ukraine. However, the crux of the issue lies in the logistical challenges associated with providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry, including sensitive mission planning hardware and software. While some argue that Ukrainians could be trained to operate the system, Scholz remains firm in his refusal to cross the red line of deploying German personnel to Ukraine.  

Taurus KEPD 350 air-launched cruise missiles. | Credit- AP

Despite pressure from allies and mounting tensions in the region, Scholz reiterates Germany's commitment to supporting Ukraine's military while steadfastly maintaining a stance against direct or indirect involvement in armed conflict. His principles, articulated in a recent post, underscore Germany's position as Ukraine's largest military supporter in Europe while reaffirming the nation's commitment to peace and stability in the region.  

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Response from the United Kingdom

In response to Scholz's comments and the broader debate over missile supply, the United Kingdom asserts that the usage of donated cruise missiles by Ukraine is solely the business of its Armed Forces. This statement underscores the complex dynamics and geopolitical tensions at play as Ukraine navigates through its financial crisis amidst a backdrop of international scrutiny and strategic manoeuvring.

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As Ukraine charts its course forward, the need for international cooperation and diplomatic dialogue remains paramount. The intricate interplay between economic imperatives, security considerations, and geopolitical dynamics underscores the challenges facing Ukraine and the broader international community. In this turbulent landscape, decisive action and collaborative efforts are essential to safeguarding Ukraine's stability and security in the face of unprecedented challenges. 

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Published February 29th, 2024 at 13:31 IST

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