The recently agreed European Union €50 billion military aid to Ukraine is a very welcome and needed development, but ultimately may not prove sufficient, some members of the Riigikogu's national defense committee find.
MP Raimond Kaljulaid (SDE), who sits on the committee, said Friday that: "An important component of this comprises a loan, meaning at some point that country has to pay it back."
The committee's chair, Kalev Stoicescu (Eesti 200), noted that: "Europe has been trying everywhere to amass what it has given. Unfortunately, however, we are not fulfilling the promise that made to provide Ukraine one million artillery shells by the month of March."
Weapons and ammunition, particularly with precision weaponry, are all very expensive, but at the same time Russia is obtaining some of its supplies on the cheap, from North Korea, he noted.
Russia has not given up on its goal of defeating Ukraine, Raimond Kaljulaid added, meaning "it is obvious that Europe actually should do significantly more."
This would include stepping up defense production and the defense industry as a whole, yet even now, European countries have not even been able to issue a unified, firm message on the need for Ukraine to prevail, Kaljulaid added.
The SDE MP contrasted this with the speed and decisiveness with which the EU and Europe as a whole reacted to the Covid pandemic, and the previous financial crisis down to 2010.
One thing the EU has come to realize, Kaljulaid added, is that the U.S. cannot necessarily be counted on in providing aid and support to Ukraine to the extent it has done.
Stoicescu was more optimistic, saying he hoped that the current deadlock at Congress on military aid to Ukraine will be resolved in the near future.
"U.S. aid, which has totaled over US$60 billion (€55.6 billion), even more than the EU has provided, is still a pretty solid sum, when the two are added together," Stoicescu said.
A planned military aid package to Ukraine has been stuck at the U.S. Congress for many weeks now.
The EU's €50 billion will reach Ukraine in several tranches over a four-year period, following the agreement struck in Brussels earlier this week.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Maria-Ann Rohemäe.