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'Guys, wake up': European MPs urge U.S. Congress to assist Ukraine

'Guys, wake up': European MPs urge U.S. Congress to assist Ukraine The U.S. Congress should help Ukraine, Nordic and Baltic MPs say (GettyImages)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Senior Nordic and Baltic lawmakers visiting Washington expressed alarm at the lack of urgency and a clear strategy from the United States to help Ukraine repel Moscow's invasion, according to Reuters.

According to the deputies, if Vladimir Putin wins in Ukraine, he will take steps to seize more of Europe.

"Guys, wake up. Are you ready to defeat enemy No. 1 that is acting like the Hitler of today?" says Zygimantis Pavilionis, chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, in comments addressed to Democrats and Republicans.

The chairmen of the parliamentary foreign affairs committees from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway spoke at the end of the two-day visit, pushing for new U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Members of the delegation said they met with administration officials and lawmakers but mostly sought to talk to Republicans who have resisted new aid to Ukraine. According to them, only one skeptical member of the House of Representatives from the Republican Party agreed to meet with them.

There "wasn't a sense of urgency," says Latvian lawmaker Rihards Kols.

U.S. strategy

Some members of the delegation criticized President Joe Biden for opposing Ukraine's accession to NATO and his strategy of "doing what it takes" to help Kyiv.

"We don't hear a clear (U.S.) message how this war should end up," says Marko Mihkelson, chairman of the Estonian parliamentary foreign affairs committee.

Members of the delegation say they have heard many times that Europe is not doing enough to help Ukraine. Coles called this a false statement that "has really played into Putin's cards" with stories of war fatigue.

"All of our countries around this table have (given) more than 1% of GDP of military aid to Ukraine. The U.S. stands (at) around 0.3%," Mihkelson says.

Russia has significantly increased its military budget, its defense industry is working around the clock, and Moscow is importing Western technology despite international sanctions, Kols says.

"We should not underestimate their will to outlast us," he continues. "They don't care about human lives. They don't care about the cost. We should wake up."

Assistance to Ukraine

At the end of October 2023, the U.S. President addressed the U.S. Congress with a request to allocate more than $105 billion to help Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Ukraine is to receive more than $60 billion as part of this request.

However, Joe Biden's request faced stiff resistance from Republicans in the House of Representatives.

On February 8, the U.S. Senate supported the start of consideration of a separate bill to support Ukraine (for $60 billion) and Israel. After approval in the Senate, the document is to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives.