The volume of aid European countries have made available to Ukraine pales in comparison to what has been spent on mitigating the effects of soaring energy prices.
EU Member States have made around €55 billion available to Ukraine between them, January data from the Kiel Institute of the World Economy reveals. To compare, researchers at the Bruegel think tank have calculated that EU countries have spent over €650 billion on alleviating the effects of the energy crisis.
For example, Germany put over €260 billion towards energy crisis benefits, over 7.4 percent of the country's GDP. To help Ukraine, the Germans have spent just 0.4 percent of GDP. The European Union Recovery Fund to bounce back from the pandemic adds €750 billion.
While the money is spent over several years and the population of Ukraine was a tenth of the EU's even before the war, European countries could give Ukraine a lot more help if they wanted to, security expert Meelis Oidsalu suggested.
"Looking only at the volume of military aid, which comes to a few dozen billion euros from the EU and roughly twice that in the case of USA. Simply comparing military investments. The U.S. government put €100 billion toward Afghanistan annually, €2.3 trillion over ten years. In other words, we still have the problem of proportionality here," Oidsalu suggested.
If all of the EU followed Estonia's example in giving Ukraine 1 percent of GDP in aid, this would yield Ukraine €150 billion. Oidsalu admitted that while infectious diseases and energy prices are felt universally in Europe, the war is still faraway for some countries.
"Thousands are dying in Ukraine. The war is shaping our future security architecture and economic environment more than we care to admit today. That is why we should give Ukraine all the help it needs. Allow me to remind people that this war is not taking place in America, it is happening in Europe. And Europe should own more of it so to speak," Oidsalu found.
Many European leaders have promised to consistently support Ukraine, meaning that Europe's contribution might grow in the future. But in addition to defending Ukraine, we must also give thought to reconstruction. Meelis Oidsalu suggested this would require around half a trillion euros of which the EU had only pledged €20 billion by January. There's a zero missing from the end there," the security expert remarked.
Editor: Marcus Turovski