The European Union’s desire to increase budget contributions from member states to continue funding Ukraine’s drawn-out conflict with Russia is scandalous, the conservative Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) has claimed.
Prominent FPÖ politicians sharply criticized the Austrian government for supporting the pro-war efforts in Brussels. Petra Steger, the party’s spokesperson on European affairs, insisted the European Union should not be fueling the conflict by providing an endless supply of military and financial support to Ukraine, and should instead be promoting peace talks in the region.
Steger slammed the plans proposed by the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell for the European Union to provide, in addition to existing measures, up to €5 billion per year for Ukraine’s defense needs and to guarantee a substantial contribution to the military training program of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
She said the plan represents a “bottomless pit,” and her party therefore reiterated its calls for the Austrian federal government to suspend its additional contributions to the European Union budget.
“The scandalous increase in the EU budget hasn’t even been implemented yet, and here they come with their next crazy demand. In the meantime, more than enough billions have been transferred to Ukraine, which has brought nothing but bloodshed and a boom for the U.S. arms industry,” Steger said.
“All this at a time when the European Union is constantly giving billions in gifts to third countries, openly supporting a warring party while the EU itself is degenerating into a debt union. Moreover, the European Central Bank is constantly overstepping its mandate. The hard-earned money of the Austrians is no longer in good hands in the institutions of the European Union,” she added.
Instead, Brussels should be hell-bent on promoting a ceasefire between Kyiv and Moscow to help bring peace back to the region.
“Until then, the EU’s behavior can only be described as a brazen Brussels rip-off that has turned into the ultimate disaster for the European financial budget,” she claimed.
More than €60 billion has flowed into Ukraine since the beginning of the war, and the European Union wants to approve even more funding through the European Peace Facility. This, however, comes at an additional cost for member states, and net contributors to the EU budget, like Austria, aren’t impressed.
“Our hard-earned prosperity over decades is incessantly sent to Ukraine by the EU,” Steger said, adding that the federal government supported Brussels in its plans and gave the European Commission its nod.
Her party colleague Axel Kassegger also criticized the European Union and the Austrian government for not being firmly opposed to the deployment of cluster bombs in Ukraine by the United States.