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  • Writer's pictureAnton Kuchuhidze

International Press Review dated 12-16 December 2022

Positive news about Ukraine continues to fill the agenda of the international media. For instance, the other day, there was information, later officially confirmed by Mr. Scholz in his public statement, that the European Union will continue to provide maximum support to Ukraine in counteracting the rashist military aggression. The German Chancellor also noted that the Hungary’s decision to block the provision of EU assistance to Ukraine would not affect the desire of the European Union to help our State. It means that Hungary’s destructive position has reached its logical end: they will not be able to cause any real problems regarding the EU’s decisions benefiting Ukraine.

Another great piece of news is that the American media reported, citing US government officials, that the transferring of Patriot air defence systems to Ukraine has already been decided at the political level, and the bureaucratic finalization of this political decision is underway. Relevant technical and legal requirements are being developed to transfer these systems to protect the Ukrainian sky. It means there is a growing trend in Washington to increase military assistance and strengthen Ukraine’s military capabilities.

It should be noted that in the United States of America, officials are not the only ones demonstrating their commitment. The intellectuals from the political circles also publish various materials about the need to support Ukraine further. In his article for the Wall Street Journal, a policy researcher, Mr. Galston, noted that Ukraine’s victory will be a victory for democracy and world stability since the Second World War, as well as a victory in the best interests of the United States. That is why the researcher believes that both Congress parties should support the idea of ensuring Ukraine’s victory.

This week, Boris Johnson also continued to actively participate in the Ukrainian case. He published his article in the Wall Street Journal, where he once again noted the only possible scenario for the end of the war, namely, the fall of the rashists’ leader. In the above article, Johnson also reflects at length on the ways for the West to increase its assistance to Ukrainians. It is worth mentioning here the words of our President that, at the beginning of the large-scale russian invasion of Ukraine, Johnson was among the first Western leaders to offer his country’s help to protect Ukraine and counter russian aggression. In fact, another article by Mr. Johnson confirms this statement of the Ukrainian President. Indeed, in his new WSJ column, Johnson raises the question of what Western states need to do to strengthen Ukraine further, focusing on military and technical support.

A crucial aspect is also the financial support of our State. And here, we should pay attention to the fact that Mrs. Secretary of the US Treasury noted the fundamental support by the US of Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Reuters USA published interesting information, first as insider information, and then Mr. Macron confirmed it. According to the French President, there are certain agreements about withdrawing heavy weapons from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station. According to the French side, negotiations are underway to agree on the technical aspects of this process. If we are to believe Mr. Macron, this issue can be resolved in the coming weeks to stabilize the security situation. If so, it is definitely a positive outcome for Ukraine. However, despite the attempts of the French President, we must always remember that the best outcome for Ukraine is the liberation of its temporarily occupied territories from rashist invaders. That is why, along with the diplomatic mission, it would be great if France would transfer more weapons to Ukraine so that we can protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity and liberate our territories even faster.

The European Union is united in its support for Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the German parliament, adding, with apparent reference to Hungary, that attempts to undermine the bloc's values by blocking foreign policy measures would fail.

Support for Ukraine, including sanctions against Russia, would be maintained and intensified for as long as President Vladimir Putin kept up his war against Kyiv, Scholz added.

"Nobody is suffering as much from Russia's war as the Ukrainians - and we stand firmly by their side," he said.

The United States is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, a decision that could be announced as soon as this week, three U.S. officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ukraine has asked its Western partners for air defenses, including U.S.-made Patriot systems, to protect it from heavy Russian missile bombardment including against its energy infrastructure.

Ground-based air defense systems such as Raytheon Technology Corp's (RTX.N) Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.

The Patriot is considered to be one of the most advanced U.S. air defense systems and is usually in short supply, with allies around the world vying for it.

Defeating Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine would be a victory for democracy, decency and the stability of the post-World War II settlement in Europe, and it would promote America’s national interest. This objective should enjoy strong bipartisan support. At the beginning of the conflict it did, but no longer.

While Ukraine’s patchwork air defenses succeeded in denying Russia the air superiority it needed to conduct effective bombing raids early in the war, they have proved less effective against drones and cruise missiles targeted at civilian facilities. The battle to keep Ukraine’s infrastructure going could be lost if its air defenses aren’t upgraded substantially.

We have no idea when this war will end. What we know is that Mr. Putin thinks he can win it by outlasting Ukraine and its allies. It is up to political leaders here and abroad to prove him wrong, a task that would be much harder if House Republicans cut the flow of aid to a beleaguered people whose courage and determination to defend their freedom has inspired the world.

I don’t care how often I have to say it: The war in Ukraine can end only with Vladimir Putin’s defeat. Russian forces must be pushed back to the de facto boundary of Feb. 24. There is no way Volodymyr Zelensky or the Ukrainian people could conceivably accept another outcome, not after the savagery they have endured. There is no land-for-peace deal to be done, even if Mr. Putin were offering it and even if he were to be trusted, which he is not.

It is time to look urgently at what more the West can do to help the Ukrainians achieve their military objectives, or at least to kick the Russians out of all the territories invaded this year. That’s the only plausible basis on which a conversation about the future could begin. The Ukrainians have the valor necessary to succeed. They have shown it. They just need the equipment.

So let’s share the burden and accelerate the denouement. First let’s give the Ukrainians the help they need against aerial attacks. Kyiv needs unmanned aerial vehicles to detect the launch sites of drones and missiles, as well as antiaircraft missiles to take them out. The drones have the same engines as Vespa scooters, so planes to shoot them down don’t have to be fast. As one Ukrainian put it to me, “Spitfires would do.” We don’t make Spitfires in the U.K. anymore, but plenty of countries have planes that would do the job.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen signaled the Biden administration is prepared to continue seeking billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine as the Eastern European country battles Russia’s invasion and missile attacks.

The US has promised $38 billion in military aid and delivered $13 billion in direct aid to Ukraine already.

Asked in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” how long that level of support can carry on, Yellen responded, “As long as it takes,” according to a transcript provided by the broadcaster.

The Treasury chief’s remarks echo that of President Joe Biden, who on Sunday affirmed US support for Ukraine in a call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Biden said the US is committed to continue providing Ukraine with security, economic and humanitarian assistance, as well as holding Russia accountable for the war, according to a readout from White House.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that there was an agreement on removing heavy weapons from Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and that talks were underway on the modalities around this.

"We managed to protect Chornobyl and our goal is to protect Zaporizhzhia. The coming weeks will be crucial," Macron said, as he arrived to attend an international conference.

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