On Tuesday in Ramstein, around 50 states in Rhineland-Palatinate will once again discuss arms shipments to Ukraine. There have been incredible changes lately.
Sometimes even Christoph Trebesch is surprised by what the data shows. The economist from the Kiel Institute of World Economy has been studying how Western financial and military aid to Ukraine has developed for a year and a half – almost the entire time that Russia has been waging war against Ukraine.
The team recently released a new update for the “Ukraine Support Tracker”. And in the current update, Kiel researchers see a development in the public debate that almost no one was aware of. Four somewhat surprising facts.
First: Europe overtakes the USA for the first time
Throughout the year-long war, it was clear that no one could ignore: nothing works without the United States. Fundamentally, nothing has changed – for example, the United States still supplies Ukraine with huge amounts of ammunition.
But this summer, the European Union left the United States behind. “This is the first time we’ve seen something like this since the beginning of the war,” says Christoph Trebesch. This is due to multi-annual programs, that is, Europe’s support commitments until 2027.
On the other hand, aid promises from the USA are no longer increasing; The reason for this is probably the increasing resistance in US politics.
Second: Norway and the Baltics: No one helps as much as they do
The statistics become exciting when researchers relate the absolute figures of aid to the gross domestic product, that is, the economic strength of the country in question.
One European country that is not a member of the EU is far ahead: Norway. In February, Social Democratic Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre’s government agreed to the largest ever aid package to Ukraine: 7.5 billion euros over five years. This means Norway now spends 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product on Ukraine – far more than anyone else.
Measured according to their economic performance, the Baltic countries Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia rank first with 1.1 to 1.4 percent of their economic power. Not only are they one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters in the EU and NATO in terms of rhetoric, but they also follow their words with actions.
Third: Germany steadily moved towards the top
Germany hesitates: After a year and a half of war, this image has become entrenched in the minds of many. But it’s not entirely true anymore. In a year and a half of war, the federal government has largely abandoned its defensive posture and is providing ammunition, Leopard tanks or air defense systems.
Germany currently sits second in the rankings in absolute numbers, ahead of Great Britain and behind the USA. In terms of gross domestic product, Germany entered the top 10 in the Kiel rankings for the first time with 0.5 percent of the economic power. Economist Trebesch says:
There was a shift towards medium-term and very strong support, especially in Germany. However, this has not yet come into public discussion.”
Fourth: What about Taurus rockets? Had little significance in statistics
As has often happened over the past year and a half, the public debate is narrowing down to a single weapons system. This time, what Ukraine wants from the German federal government is Taurus cruise missiles.
If Chancellor Olaf Scholz decides to deliver after much hesitation, this will not be reflected in the Kiel rankings: “In terms of costs, such an additional system does not make a big difference,” says Trebesch.
- Military expert says Taurus cruise missiles ‘urgently needed’
Of course, this says nothing about the military significance of such a delivery. Taurus rockets can make a much bigger difference here; if the federal government decides to turn them over.
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I am Timothy Glover, a professional journalist and content creator. I specialize in writing and editing for news websites, specifically covering politics. I have been working as an author at News Unrolled for the past five years and have built up a reputation for producing quality content that is both informative and engaging.