US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby stated on 11 January 2024 that the United States has suspended security assistance to Ukraine and will not resume sending aid to Ukraine until Congress approves funding. Kirby stated that the United States provided the last package of aid to Ukraine for which the US Government had enough funding – $250 million security assistance announced on 27 December 2023.
Early next morning, 12 January, our Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, set off by car for RAF Hendon on the north-west fringe of London. During this journey he remotely chaired a meeting taking place back at 10 Downing Street where it was agreed that we and the Americans must stop the attacks on merchant ships lawfully passing through the Red Sea. From RAF Hendon he flew to Ukraine. In Kyiv he met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and they signed a Ukraine and United Kingdom (UK) agreement on bilateral security guarantees as proposed by the G7’s July 2023 joint declaration of support for Ukraine.
The agreement covers joint efforts supporting Ukraine’s future accession to NATO, including comprehensive assistance to Ukraine to protect and restore its territorial integrity, preventing new Russian aggression against Ukraine, and supporting Ukraine’s integration into certain Western institutions. The agreement also states that the UK government will work with its domestic defence industrial base (DIB) to help develop Ukraine’s own DIB. We are the first country to sign a final agreement with Ukraine on the basis of the G7’s July 2023 joint declaration of support for Ukraine – two dozen non-G7 countries have joined the declaration.
Rishi Sunak also announced a military assistance package valued at £ 2.5 billions which includes long-range missiles, air defence components, artillery ammunition, and maritime security provisions. Approximately £ 200 millions of this package is allocated for producing and procuring drones, most of which the UK expects to build. Rishi Sunak also announced an additional £ 18 millions to support frontline humanitarian efforts and fortify Ukraine’s energy infrastructure against Russian strikes. He emphasised British commitment to long-term support for Ukraine, saying the new UK- Ukraine security pact will last ‘100 years or more.’
Where does that leave the EU members of NATO?
Rishi Sunak set a bench mark for NATO countries on this side of the Atlantic. Some do their best – according to their Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, Estonia gives more aid per head than any other country. Britain probably comes close but there are many more of us and our aid packages provide billions of pounds worth of highly sophisticated weapons. British anti-tank weapons enabled the Ukrainians to wipe out the Russian attack on Kiev. British anti-aircraft missiles are vital for defence and our long range strike missiles highly effective for attack. Joe Biden carefully rations the Ukraine for fear of starting a nuclear war with Russia. I think Putin’s threat looks more and more like a bluff after 300,000 dead and wounded Russians and two years fighting. In our case we’re now free of the EU political cage and can provide a wide spectrum of help very quickly. Sunak takes full advantage of this freedom.
However, the question remains, what will the Germans do – allow Orban to block help for Ukraine and do a grubby deal with Putin to regain business as usual, or swiftly form a coalition of the willing and send that 50 billion Euros of aid as individual countries?
France remains consistent and sends very little help.
Then we come to the United States of America.
Another meeting between Joe Biden and Republicans in Congress made no headway this week. The Republican Party used to be the party of Abraham Lincoln, and still was until Trump came along. Even in the days of Tricky Dicky ( Nixon ) more Republicans voted in Congress for Civil Rights bills than Democrats. Trump’s malign influence is why aid to Ukraine is blocked by the Republicans in Congress.
How can the great republic reduce itself to an election contest between two aging draft dodgers, both almost as old as me? How dare America’s political class – I include the media – impose this pitiful magic lantern show on the American people? An eighteenth century constitution risks the electoral college over-turning millions of votes and handing victory to the loser. That almost happened last time. And victory is bought with millions of dollars worth of television advertising. The Democrats give Trump free TV adverts every time he appears in Court.
Joe is just about with us some days. Why don’t they pick someone younger and isn’t it about time a woman had a go?
Trump won with a vote of just over a hundred-thousand people on a snowy night in Iowa, population about three million. Judging from the American media one would think this was a landslide instead of three-quarters of the voters staying home and warm. When you watch this kind of pantomime you realise how lucky we are to have lost the War of Independence.