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Europe needs to persuade US to maintain focus on Ukraine's war, Swedish PM says

Europe needs to persuade US to maintain focus on Ukraine's war, Swedish PM says Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

Europe must convince the United States to maintain its focus on Russia's war against Ukraine, says Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

As Trump promised to return to the White House in November, Kristersson has emphasized that Europe needs to contribute to persuading the US to continue focusing on Russia's war against Ukraine.

"Europe has homework to do. One is the obvious one ... European NATO countries need to build a sufficiently strong defense, not only [to] hope for the U.S. to be the provider of a strong defense and pay for a strong defense," he said.

The Prime Minister adds that the EU should also stand together when it comes to supporting Ukraine to convince Washington to strengthen its own support. Additionally, the Swedish Prime Minister criticizes the proposal made by the Pope over the weekend that Ukraine should have the courage to raise the "white flag".

It's very dangerous ... not being able to see the difference between surrender and peace," Kristersson said.

Issues with US aid

On February 13, the US Senate approved a $95 billion aid bill for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. In particular, over $60 billion is allocated for Ukraine.

For the bill to take effect, it still needs to be approved by the US House of Representatives and signed by President Joe Biden.

House Speaker Mike Johnson opposed such an initiative. He does not bring the bill to the lower house of Congress. In turn, President Joe Biden urged the House of Representatives to urgently approve the bill.

Controversial statement by the Pope

The day before, Reuters published an excerpt from an interview with the Pope for the Swiss channel RSI. In the interview, the pontiff, in response to whether Ukraine should raise the "white flag" and negotiate with Russia, supported such a position.

The Vatican, after that, said that the Pope did not mean the surrender of Ukraine. According to Matteo Bruni, head of the Vatican press service, the pontiff spoke only about the need for negotiations.

However, the Pope's words sparked a wave of criticism among Western leaders and politicians. The pontiff's statement was criticized, including in Latvia and Poland. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the Pope not to repeat the mistakes of the past and to support Ukraine.