US Aid for Ukraine Is Hostage to the Far Right

The extreme wing of the Republican Party is endangering Washington’s support for Kyiv — and could prolong the Ukrainians’ suffering.

It could be said with some exaggeration that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is now more afraid of elections than of Russian rockets. Recently, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections that his country will no longer deliver weapons to Ukraine. It caused an international uproar; eventually, even Poland’s president had to intervene to dismiss the statement as being misinterpreted and calm tempers.

It will not be as easy to make similar challenges in the U.S. go away. It may still be the case that Democrats and those Republicans who have not totally abandoned all reason support the billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine. But the ultra-right wing of the party is using that aid to create a row in the spirit of “America First.” This group continues to gain influence in the party, so that it is questionable whether Congress will say yes to a future aid package — and it will be even more questionable when next year’s presidential election really builds up steam.

The personalities on the far right, with their idiosyncratic actions, often sabotage their own leadership when it comes to the U.S. budget, too. Hakeem Jeffries, the highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, is already talking about a “civil war” among the Republicans. But with their narrow focus on the U.S., they do not seem to realize that the rebels could also cause even more suffering in an actual war.

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