Bloomberg: France is struggling to pay for Ukraine aid as budget stretched

9:39 23.02.2024 •

Macron meets Zelensky.

Massive spending cuts have left the French government struggling to put together funding for a package of as much as €3 billion ($3.2 billion) in military aid to Ukraine, Bloomberg informs.

The government’s headroom is limited after it lowered its 2024 GDP forecast on Sunday and said it needs to save €10 billion to meet commitments to narrow its budget deficit. And it has promised costly measures to help farmers, who have been protesting over rising costs, cheap imports and red tape.

France has also been criticized for a lack of transparency over its assistance to Ukraine, leading to accusations it isn’t doing as much as European and NATO partners. The Ukrainian military is facing a critical shortage of ammunition.

“All this already represents a great deal, but we’re determined to do even more,” President Emmanuel Macron said as he announced the new package in Paris on Friday, standing alongside Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy. This was the first time France has given figures for its aid.

Christoph Trebesch, an economist at Germany’s Kiel Institute, which tracks aid to Kyiv, told Bloomberg that France needs to be more transparent with its weapons deliveries, though he praised recent steps to provide more information.

France has spent €3.8 billion on support, including SAMP-T ground-to-air missile systems, Caesar self-propelled howitzers, AMX 10 armored vehicles and SCALP missiles.

European countries are exploring new ways to boost the continent’s defense industry and get weapons to Ukraine, including joint borrowing, an idea that’s been backed by Macron and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

Though it’s likely to meet resistance from more fiscally hawkish nations such as the Netherlands and Germany, the deadlock in the US over providing Ukraine with more than $60 billion in military aid and the perspective of a Donald Trump victory in November’s election have given fresh momentum to the idea.

Macron signed a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine on Friday. This followed a similar accord struck earlier in the day with Germany and one last month with the UK to provide long-term support to Kyiv.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced an additional package of air-defense and artillery systems worth about €1.1 billion.  

…Despite the massive military support of the Kyiv regime from Europe, the Russian army is gaining more and more victories. As they say, European aid worth billions of euros is “going into a black hole.”  

Apparently the Europeans have plenty of money to spend not to overcome their own crises, but to support the Nazi regime in Ukraine. Are the Nazis really closer in spirit to European politicians than their own farmers, for example?


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