Progress on blocked aid to Ukraine: confidence in US reliability continues to suffer

Progress on blocked aid to Ukraine: confidence in US reliability continues to suffer

And they are moving: Members of the Republican-led US House of Representatives have paved the way for more aid to Ukraine. With the help of Democrats, the corresponding bill was approved, which the Speaker of the House of Congress, Mike Johnson, presented this week.

It is assumed that the Senate will agree and the President will sign next, since Democrats are the majority in this chamber and Joe Biden requested the aid months ago. This means that a political way of thinking that Biden champions and that many already considered hopelessly outdated has been reestablished in Washington: the art of building cross-party coalitions.

The delayed decision means that not everything is good, not even for Johnson: the ultra-conservative representative of Louisiana will probably have to defend himself against a request for removal from the right of his party.

At least he can count on the Democrats to appreciate the president’s surprisingly developed leadership in this case and once again come to his aid.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has only been in office for almost six months.
Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has only been in office for almost six months.

©REUTERS/MICHAEL MCCOY

This trust should have been earned first. But currently no one can say how this will work in the long term.

On the other hand, months have passed in which Ukraine was unnecessarily weakened due to internal republican territorial wars. Ammunition essential for survival has become scarce, the morale of many Ukrainians has been affected, and Russia has once again intensified its attacks.

The United States has just turned the corner again, but confidence in the reliability of the world power has continued to suffer. The extent to which and for how long the majority in Congress allowed a small radical group to boycott important aid to partner countries is terrifying and raises fears of terrible things to come.

The role of two men in the last-minute breakthrough should not be underestimated: Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Trump’s in particular needs to be explained.

Trump’s change of heart requires explanation

Normally, the Republican never misses an opportunity to brag that this war never started under his command and that he could end it in 24 hours. He also constantly criticizes the Europeans for their supposedly insufficient contributions and is said to have declared in a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in March that he did not want to spend “one cent” on the war in Ukraine.

But just as right-wing hardliners close to him were calling for the overthrow of their president, he gave him a lifeline by giving him a demonstrative welcome to Mar-a-Lago. And on Thursday he wrote on his social network Truth Social that the survival of Ukraine is also important to the United States.

A possible explanation for this is that Trump met on Wednesday in New York with Polish President Andrzej Duda, who is politically close to him. This should have made it clear to him what was really at stake if the Russian aggressor triumphed on the battlefield.

Or: Johnson made it clear to Trump at Mar-a-Lago that he already had the votes thanks to the support of Democrats and the vast majority of Republicans. One thing is certain: this 77-year-old has considerable political instincts. He doesn’t like being in the loser’s camp.

As an ordinary MP, Johnson never voted in favor of aid to Ukraine.

On the other hand, the advance in Congress is also a clear success for the current president of the United States. For months, it is said in Washington, Biden and his top Secret Service commanders worked with Johnson and told him about the catastrophic consequences of a Ukrainian defeat.

Before becoming president, Johnson had not once voted to authorize aid to Ukraine. Therefore, the learning curve for him is considerable.

Johnson said he believed this alarming information from the US government apparatus. This is also a surprising statement for a Republican close to Trump.

It remains to be seen whether the president still has a long career ahead of him in his party. But, as Johnson himself says: in the end, history judges those who bear responsibility. Your actions could encourage others.

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