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Chuck Schumer, leader of the ruling Democrats, announces the failure of the negotiations: hope for the new year

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The US is Kyiv's main supporter in the war against the Russian invasion forces. But there will be no new funds for the time being – despite requests from US President Joe Biden. For days, the U.S. Congress wrestled over the approval of new aid for Ukraine amounting to around 61 billion dollars (just under 56 billion euros). Now it is clear: MEPs will not decide on any new military aid for Ukraine, which has been attacked by Russia, this year.

The leaders of the ruling Democrats and the opposition Republicans in the Senate, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, admitted this in a joint statement on Tuesday. Negotiators from the chamber of Congress and the administration will continue to work on outstanding issues in the coming days, Schumer and McConnell said. The hope is that action can then be taken "quickly" at the beginning of next year.

Symbolically heavy blow for Kiev

The failure to reach an agreement on new aid for Ukraine before the end of the year does not come as a surprise, but it is a symbolically heavy blow to Ukraine. Especially since President Volodymyr Zelensky personally appealed for new aid during a visit to Washington last week.

U.S. President Joe Biden had already asked Congress for the $61 billion in October. However, this is met with rejection by parts of the opposition Republicans, even if the Republican Senate minority leader McConnell is in favor of new aid. The conservatives can block further funding for Ukraine with their majority in the House of Representatives and with their blocking minority in the Senate.

The Senate had postponed its winter recess because of the negotiations on new military aid in order to gain more time for negotiations. However, the House of Representatives, where there is particularly strong resistance to the aid among the Republicans, has already said goodbye to the winter break.

The U.S. has delivered or pledged more than $2022 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia's war of aggression in February 44. A prolonged absence of the United States would have serious consequences for Kiev. The Western allies of the United States and Ukraine are therefore looking to Washington with concern.