EU prepares plan to aid Ukraine if Trump wins the US presidency – WP

EU officials are closely monitoring the US election campaign. The EU is preparing a contingency plan if right-wing populist Donald Trump comes to power in Washington and continues his rhetoric against helping Ukraine in the context of the war with Russia.

European officials fear that a second term of the controversial former president could lead to a withdrawal of US assistance for Ukraine, The Washington Post reports. They particularly worried after Trump said he would encourage Russia to “do whatever they want” with NATO members who do not spend enough on defense.

A new plan from the EU

When the former and possibly future American leader says he will sit back and watch Russia attack NATO allies, we have to rethink what the US commitment to Europe and Ukraine might look like,” a European official said to the WP.

According to the source, the EU should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. He added that such a scenario would include withdrawing support for Ukraine and allowing Putin to destabilize Eastern Europe.

Thus, European officials are working privately to create a European complement to NATO. It would work in parallel with the Alliance but could serve as an alternative if the US lifted the guarantees.

At the same time, other officials are convinced that it is necessary to fix the US commitment before the November elections. Senior U.S. policymakers say they are in a position to make decisions that will help contain the next presidential administration. 

Some agencies are talking about a commitment to long-term military assistance to Ukraine. For example, they will demand reports, which could cause political embarrassment for Trump if he decides to withdraw aid to Ukraine.

Donald Trump and NATO

The White House and NATO have criticized Donald Trump’s remarks about “encouraging” an attack on those who do not pay 2% of their GDP to NATO. They said that in this way, he undermines US national security. The EU noted that such rash statements only serve Putin’s interests.

A former adviser to Donald Trump, John Bolton, said that the former president’s threats to withdraw the United States from NATO should be taken seriously. According to Mr Bolton, Trump was thinking about this during his first term but was dissuaded from doing so.

In December 2023, both houses of the U.S. parliament passed a law that prohibits the U.S. president from arbitrarily announcing the country’s withdrawal from the Alliance without the approval of the Senate or an Act of Congress. The law has yet to be signed by President Joe Biden.

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