Ukraine to Allies: Please Give us One Per Cent of Your GDP to Fight Russia
One per cent of Western Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a worthy sacrifice to defeat Russia and is dwarfed by what America spent to beat Nazi Germany, says a Ukraine spokesman.
Ukraine very much appreciates the near-$37 billion the United States is already giving in military aid but more — much more, in fact — is needed, a Ukrainian diplomat now working as a full-time procurer of military equipment has said.
Andrij Melnyk, who is becoming well known beyond the borders of Ukraine for his persistent campaigning to push the envelope on military donations to Ukraine and being one of the loudest voices demanding larger numbers of tanks, Western jets, and even warships, made the comments on a German television political show this week, where he said Western nations had to cross their own “red lines” to send more equipment. The former ambassador to Germany, now Ukrainian government minister, said “this will not be an easy undertaking, but a Herculean task”.
To fight Russia, Ukaine’s allies should “pledge one per cent of their [GDP] to the attacked country”, Germany’s Die Welt reports Melnyk as having suggested. While the politician praised efforts so far, saying he didn’t wish to downplay the billions already given, Melnyk pointed out that the United States spent half its GDP on fighting during the Second World War.
As things stand, with the GDP of the United States at over $23 trillion, Melnyk’s call for funding would stand at around $233 billion in military equipment, or over six times as much as has been spent already by Washington supporting Kyiv. For Germany, giving one per cent of GDP would mean $40 billion, compared to $15 billion given.
The suggestion of a massive increase in spending on Ukraine comes as the U.S. reportedly readies itself to announce another $1.2 billion.
Criticising Germany in particular for the amount of equipment donated already, Melnyk called for ten per cent of their military inventory — “that would be 50 fighter jets” — and said the pace of tank delivery was too slow.
While the words are stark, they are by no means unusual for Melnyk, who works persistently to grow the Ukrainian armoury. He made similar remarks in April, when he said Ukraine needed ten-times more military aid to end the war in 2023, again using the imagery of “red lines” that Western nations needed to get over to give him more support, and citing the one per cent of GDP figure. Sometimes the rhetoric is even more strident: weeks earlier, Melnyk had accused Germany of being “small-minded” for not doing more to fight Russia.