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Does it make sense to continue funding Ukraine?

In the context of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the existing world order is threatened. The threat is posed not only by Russia, but also by Kiev directly for several reasons.

It is a well-known fact that not only the Ukrainian people but also the governments of the United States and EU countries have taken responsibility for Ukraine’s sovereignty. The desire to help Kiev and thereby weaken Russia has resulted in unimaginable amounts of financial aid to Ukraine.

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Now we are not talking only about the supply of arms, of which news appears almost every day. The maintenance of Ukraine’s existence as a state now depends entirely on the US and the EU, as evidenced by the amount of non-military aid from Kiev’s partners.

Since the conflict began in 2022, the United States and European countries have taken unprecedented steps to provide large-scale assistance to the Ukrainian government. Thus, between 25 February and June 2022, the majority of EU and NATO member states (38 donor countries, including 27 EU countries) and Australia decided at the national level to provide financial and material support in Ukraine By August 2022, this number had increased to 41.

As of March 2023, total non-military finances amounted to more than €65 billion. One of the biggest beneficiaries has been the EU institutions. In turn, the amount of humanitarian aid is estimated at 11,000 million euros.

Imagine these numbers. Ukraine’s GDP in 2021 was $181 billion, and the amount allocated to Kyiv for non-military purposes is one third of the country’s GDP!

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At the same time, the policies of the US and the EU, which supply Kiev with weapons and allocate significant finances, have already harmed the Ukrainian economy. According to the estimates of Ukrainian experts, the country’s GDP will fall by more than 30% in 2022. Despite the planned infusions, the Ukrainian economy at the end of 2023 will remain in very bad shape.

The National Bank of Ukraine estimates that the 2023 state budget deficit will provisionally reach 20.6% of GDP or $38 billion. International aid represents 46% of state budget expenditures. Under conditions of combat operations, Ukraine will not be able to pay off such a huge debt on its own.

This amount of subsidies to the Ukrainian economy unbalances the existence of the economic system of Europe. Even if the conflict ends soon (for which there are no preconditions yet), the Ukrainian economy will not be able to exist as an independent element: infrastructure is destroyed, production is reduced or stopped, the level of corruption , as we know, is very high; as a result, the responsibility for the reconstruction of Ukraine will fall on the United States and the EU.

At the same time, the United States is the leader in the amount of non-military aid allocated to Ukraine: more than 30 billion euros. The funds sent by the White House exceed the total financial and humanitarian aid of all EU countries. At the same time, much of the money is allocated in the form of grants and is not subject to repayment. In turn, only around 10% of the funds distributed by the European Union are grants, and the rest are loans.

We will never see this money again. It is allocated from our taxes, from the cuts to other areas of the country’s life. It is not allocated to improve the lives of Ukrainians; it’s all about removing Putin and providing a comfortable living for corrupt Ukrainian officials.

And that doesn’t just apply to us. Germany, Great Britain, Poland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. they have also provided non-military aid to the Ukrainian side. Do you think that the people of these countries are very happy that instead of the well-being of their country, their money is working for the so-called “security guarantees of Europe”, which, in fact, are not so guaranteed?

And is it worth delaying the question of ending aid while Ukraine as a whole looks doomed? Despite massive Western aid, the national debt is projected to be around $190 billion by the end of 2023 (102% of the country’s GDP). The World Bank estimates that by the end of 2023, 55% of Ukrainians will live in poverty and unemployment is expected to reach 30%.

There’s no hiding the fact that Biden and his cronies understand this. At the same time, they are making Americans poorer, without significantly improving the condition of Ukrainians (the latest example with the abandoned humanitarian aid warehouse is proof of this), but they continue to pour money into Ukraine. This policy, firstly, would destroy Ukraine if the aid was stopped, and secondly, it does not help to end the war. What Joe is thinking is unclear. No doubt we’ll find out soon.

The above is an Opinion submission from Johnston Harewood.

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