President Donald Trump has offered several explanations to justify his decision to delay military aid to Ukraine, first suggesting he was worried about “corruption,” then claiming it was a mechanism to pressure other countries to contribute.
On September 23, Trump voiced his complaint to reporters alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda, asking “Why is it always the United States spending money?” and “I don’t like it that it’s only us.”
Since then, Trump has repeated at least four times his claim that the US is the only country providing aid to Ukraine.
The President has also called out several countries he believes aren’t paying and should be. In a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trump said, “Why is the United States the only one paying to Ukraine? I’ve been talking about this a long time. Not only with respect to Ukraine, but a lot of countries. Frankly, why isn’t Germany — I just met with the chancellor — why isn’t Germany, why isn’t France? Why aren’t these countries paying payment? Why are we paying all the time?”
Facts First: The US is not “the only one” contributing aid to Ukraine. Germany and France have both sent millions of euros to Ukraine, along with other European nations.
The European Union committed to providing more than 100 million euros to Ukraine for “accountable and efficient governance” as recently as July 7. Additionally, since 2014, the EU “has provided development cooperation totaling 262.7 million euros” (or approximately $286 million) and 754.5 million euros, the equivalent of around $815 million, in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, an official source at the German Federal Foreign Office told CNN.
According to an EU spokesperson, from December 2014 to May 2019, the EU advisory mission in Ukraine was given a budget of 83 million euros or $91 million to “assist the Ukrainian authorities” in the fight against corruption, among other things, as part of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.
The EU and its member states are the biggest contributors to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s special monitoring mission to Ukraine, to which the EU has donated “40 unarmoured and 44 armoured vehicles, 35 trauma kits and provided training,” an EU spokesperson told CNN.
Carl Bildt, Co-Chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said in a tweet that the President’s claim had “no relation to reality,” citing over 15 billion euros the EU and related financial institutions have provided to support Ukraine since 2014. An EU spokesperson confirmed to CNN that 15 billion euros was a current and accurate figure, adding that the approximately $16.4 billion “covers grants and loans from different sources/instruments within the EU budget and European Financial Institutions.”
Via the EU, Germany has contributed approximately 200 million euros ($218 million) to Ukraine since 2014, according to the German Federal Foreign Office. On top of that, since 2014 Germany has paid 1.18 billion euros or $1.29 billion directly to Ukraine, 110 million euros (approximately $120 million) of which was for humanitarian aid, an official source at the German Federal Foreign Office told CNN.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel did refuse military aid in 2018, in a specific case involving Russian seizure of three Ukrainian ships. However, according to the German Federal Foreign Office, Germany remains the EU’s largest donor of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the third-largest bilateral donor, after the US, based on the latest OECD figures.
To address the conflict in Ukraine, France has also contributed humanitarian aid, to the tune of 600,000 euros, or $656,310, in 2018 alone. The French embassy in DC declined to comment on military aid to Ukraine in particular.
This story has been updated.