© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view exhibits the Transfiguration Cathedral broken by Russian missile strike, Odesa, Ukraine July 23, 2023. REUTERS/Yan Dobronosov
By Jonathan Landay
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Nordic and Baltic lawmakers visiting Washington on Thursday expressed alarm at what they referred to as a scarcity of urgency and a transparent technique by the United States to assist Ukraine defeat Moscow’s invasion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will transfer to take extra European territory if he wins in Ukraine, elevating the hazard of a battle with the U.S.-led NATO alliance that would carry immense human and financial prices, the lawmakers stated.
“Guys, wake up,” Zygimantis Pavilionis, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament’s overseas affairs committee, stated in feedback directed at Democrats and Republicans. “Are you ready to defeat enemy No. 1 that is acting like the Hitler of today?”
The bleak evaluation of how Washington is coping with the menace posed by Europe’s greatest battle since World War II underscored rising issues throughout the Atlantic that U.S. home political feuds are undercutting assist for Ukraine.
The parliamentary overseas affairs committee chairs from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Norway spoke on the finish of a two-day go to to press for brand new U.S. aid as Ukraine struggles with ammunition shortages and Russian assaults. All however Sweden are NATO members.
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Delegation members stated they met administration officers and lawmakers, however primarily sought to talk to Republicans resisting contemporary aid. Only one Republican House of Representatives member agreed to see them, they stated.
There “wasn’t a sense of urgency,” stated Latvian parliamentarian Rihards Kols, including it was “bizarre” that some American lawmakers urged the Europeans to have interaction extra with U.S. residents to elucidate the stakes of a Russian victory.
“It is absolutely your job to do that,” he stated he responded.
Several delegation members criticized President Joe Biden for opposing Ukraine’s admission to NATO and his technique of “doing what it takes” to aid Kyiv.
“We don’t hear a clear (U.S.) message how this war should end up,” stated Marko Mihkelson, chair of the Estonian parliamentary affairs committee.
Delegation members stated they repeatedly heard Europe was not doing sufficient to assist Ukraine. Kols referred to as this a false assertion that “has really played into Putin’s cards” with narratives of warfare fatigue.
“All of our countries around this table have (given) more than 1% of GDP of military aid to Ukraine. The U.S. stands (at) around 0.3%,” stated Mihkelson.
Russia has massively boosted its army finances, its protection industries are working across the clock and Moscow is importing Western applied sciences regardless of worldwide sanctions, Kols stated.
“We should not underestimate their will to outlast us,” he continued. “They don’t care about human lives. They don’t care about the cost. We should wake up.”