30th Jun 2022

EU not doing enough to help Ukraine, Yellen says

  • US secretary of the treasury Janet Yellen attended the Brussels Economic Forum on Tuesday as part of a whirlwind tour in Europe (Photo: EU Commission)
Listen to article

Europe needs to step up support to Ukraine in the face of continued Russian aggression, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said on Tuesday (17 May).

"I sincerely ask all our partners to join us in increasing their financial support to Ukraine," she said, speaking at the Brussels Economic Forum.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"Support announced so far will not be sufficient to address Ukraine's needs, even in the short term."

The US has already approved $13.6bn [€12.9bn] in emergency funds and is expected to sign off on an additional $40bn worth of aid on Thursday— a figure in total exceeding the entire US State Department budget.

So far, the EU has dispensed €4.1bn in emergency loans and €1.5bn in (non-lethal) military assistance and is expected to announce additional funds in the coming days, although it is unclear how much this will be.

Yellen, who is on a whirlwind tour in Europe this week, with stops in Brussels, Bonn, and Warsaw, said EU and US aid is "critical" to help ensure Ukraine "prevails over Putin's aggression."

US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin, after a visit to Kyiv in April, also said Ukraine "can win" the war against Russia.

"We will not recognise a single square kilometre of Ukrainian land taken by the Russians," EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said in a press conference on Monday. "We hope Ukraine will win this war."

However, as economic costs of the war and high energy prices are edging the bloc towards a recession, some EU leaders are starting to sound less war-like, and have instead called for an early peace.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz, after a lengthy telephone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday, tweeted that there "must be a ceasefire in Ukraine as quickly as possible."

In the last week, French president Emmanuel Macron and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi have also called for an end of the war sooner rather than later.

In an interview with Italian media on Thursday last week, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine would not play along if it meant giving up territory.

"We won't help Putin save face by paying with our territory. That would be unjust, he said.

Yellen addressed the EU energy worries by pledging to increase US liquified natural gas exports to help the EU quit Russian gas.

She also said Europe needs to increase funding, not just in the short term, but to help the country rebuild its economy after the war.

Ukraine needs "massive support and private investment for reconstruction and recovery, akin to the task of rebuilding in Europe after 1945", she said in her Brussels speech.


Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? The EU is.

The cliché of the big bad wolf continues into the present day. In places like Finland deeply-entrenched cultural anxieties fuel unfounded fears that they will attack innocent children on their way to school.

Commission grilled on RePowerEU €210bn pricetag

EU leaders unveiled a €210bn strategy aiming to cut Russian gas out of the European energy equation before 2027 and by two-thirds before the end of the year — but questions remain on how it is to be financed.


One rubicon after another

We realise that we are living in one of those key moments in history, with events unfolding exactly the way Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt describes them: a sudden crisis, rushing everything into overdrive.


Expect Czech EU presidency to downgrade V4 priorities

The Czech Republic is already in the throes of an extremely difficult period — several waves of Covid, high inflation, energy fears, an influx of Ukrainian refugees and a Prague corruption scandal. Now it has the EU presidency.

News in Brief

  1. New president for European Committee of the Regions
  2. Gas flows from Spain to Morocco, after Western Sahara row
  3. BioNTech, Pfizer test 'universal' coronavirus vaccine
  4. UK sanctions second-richest Russian businessman
  5. Hungary permits emergency supervision of energy firms
  6. Bulgaria expels 70 alleged Russian spies
  7. EU Commission told to improve CAP data analytics
  8. Scotland pushes for second independence vote in 2023

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  2. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  4. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBHow price increases affect construction workers
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic think tank examines influence of tech giants

Latest News

  1. Nato expands and reinforces on Russian flank
  2. EU Commission says it cannot find messages with Pfizer CEO
  3. EU ministers sign off on climate laws amid German infighting
  4. EU presidency still looking for asylum relocation pledges
  5. Finland and Sweden to join Nato, as Erdoğan drops veto
  6. The euro — who's next?
  7. One rubicon after another
  8. Green crime-fighting boss urgently required, key MEP says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us