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Ukraine ‘Freaking Out’ After McCarthy’s Ouster, Fear of Free Cash Drying Up

Make no mistake about it – this week’s ejection of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has already cast a dark cloud over the future of Washington’s free-flowing financial and military aid for Ukraine.

It’s now been over 18 months since Russia launched its Special Military Operation (SMO) against NATO’s proxy Ukraine, and initially there was bipartisan support for quarterly multibillion dollar aid packages. But that support is now breaking up along partisan lines – with the Democratic Party now being the new party of war, and with many Republicans taking a differing view of ‘war effort’. According to a survey released this week by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, showing that most Americans still support sending cash and arms to Ukraine, but there are now stark divisions over whether this investment is worthwhile for America.

Without a Speaker, the House is unable to pass legislation that includes new payments and weapons to the Zelensky regime in Kiev, leaving the Biden administration’s $24 billion request for aid to Ukraine in serious limbo.

Last week, a worried President Biden said that expected McCarthy “to keep his commitment to secure the passage and support needed to help Ukraine as they defend themselves against aggression and brutality.” That was then. Now that McCarthy has been given the boot,  it’s unclear who will fill the vacant Speaker’s chair and whether those potential candidates will be skeptical about issuing Ukraine the usual blank cheque.

Meanwhile in Kiev…

Zero Hedge reports…

“We are freaking out. For us it is a disaster,” Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, an MP who chairs the committee on Ukraine’s integration into the EU, told Politico in a report published Wednesday. “We are interested in getting things sorted out so American democracy can function, and so we can restore the bipartisan consensus on supporting their own national interest by supporting Ukraine.”

Now Ukraine officials are scrambling in the wake of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as House speaker in a move widely seen as a direct shot at the Biden admin’s ‘blank check’ approach Ukraine aid.

In public, Ukrainian officials are trying to put on a positive face and downplay the impact of the GOP-led blockage of what was an expected tens of billions more in defense aid for next year. “Until a new speaker is elected, the House cannot vote on laws, but all other work, including in committees, continues,” Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova has said.

“For now Ukraine still has at least an additional $1.6 billion available for use for defense assistance (PDA) and $1.23 billion in direct budget aid, Markarova, the ambassador, said,” wrote Politico.

But below is a key section of the report, wherein a Kiev official expresses that Ukraine has become a hostage of Washington internal politics:

Privately, however, there is dismay and confusion in Kyiv. 

“Well, that’s a setup,” one Ukrainian MP told POLITICO. 

“Honestly, we are watching for now,” said one Ukrainian government official, who asked not to be identified while discussing sensitive matters.

Ukrainian officials typically avoid expressing public criticism of partners so as not to seem ungrateful. But this week some have expressed shock

“There is nothing good, but, objectively, we have simply become hostages of their internal politics,” said Ukrainian lawmaker Yaroslav Zheleznyak, first deputy chairman of the parliament committee on finance, after the emergency U.S. budget deal was announced.

But Zhelezniak has also admitted that corruption is a major issue which has played a part in the withholding of external aid. “The biggest (public) complaint about us is corruption,” he had earlier conceded in a weekend social media post.

“We have to go through these 45 days without a major corruption scandal,” he stated. This comes even after Zelensky in the last two months fired a range of top officials, including his longtime defense minister and a half-dozen other top defense officials.




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