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EU’s €50 Billion Fund for Ukraine Aims to Shore Up Confidence, Lacks Substantial Impact: Chinese Experts

Beijing: Chinese experts have scrutinized the European Union’s (EU) recently approved €50 billion ($54 billion) fund for Ukraine, asserting that its primary function is to boost Kiev’s confidence rather than carrying substantial significance. The experts emphasized that the four-year duration of the funding is indicative of Western nations’ cautious approach, seeking to navigate domestic political uncertainties.

Despite initial disagreements, European Council President Charles Michel announced that all 27 EU leaders had reached an agreement on the €50 billion support package for Ukraine within the EU budget. The deal comes at a crucial time when Hungary, among other EU members, was at odds over the plan, particularly Hungary’s desire to veto disbursements annually—a demand rejected by the other 26 EU countries.

Chinese experts highlighted the perceived limitations of the aid package, noting that, when averaged over four years, Ukraine receives just over €10 billion annually. They argued that the aid’s primary purpose is to enhance Ukraine’s confidence rather than effecting substantial change on the ground.

Cui Hongjian, a professor with the Academy of Regional and Global Governance at Beijing Foreign Studies University, suggested that the EU’s focus on a long-term aid plan for Ukraine is driven by the desire to mitigate uncertainties stemming from both European and U.S. domestic politics. With European Parliament elections and the U.S. presidential election on the horizon, both events could significantly impact aid provisions to Ukraine.

As the Ukraine crisis approaches its two-year mark, European countries are grappling with fatigue and questions about the practicality of continuous support. The potential consequences of Ukraine losing the war are also raising concerns within Europe.

While U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reassured EU officials of the Biden administration’s commitment to securing $11.8 billion in budget aid for Ukraine, Chinese experts contend that symbolic financial aid alone may not alter the battlefield situation. They argue that substantial changes, such as providing F-16 fighter jets, are essential for impacting the ongoing conflict.

In the face of Russia’s offensive operations and challenges in providing assistance, both Europe and the U.S. find themselves navigating complex geopolitical dynamics in their efforts to support Ukraine.

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