War in Ukraine: Zelensky in France, Russian economy in difficulty, American aid to the Senate… update on the situation

War in Ukraine: Zelensky in France, Russian economy in difficulty, American aid to the Senate... update on the situation

Biden et Zelensky à Washington le 12 décembre 2023. (illustration) MAXPPP – Yuri Gripas

Every day, Midi Libre takes stock of the situation in Ukraine. This Monday, February 12, 2024, discover the latest news around this conflict.

Russian economic growth is a sham

Russian economy faces tough times due to exodus triggered by war in Ukraine and lack of access to technology will put activity under pressure, despite high military spending, declared this Monday the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva.

The economy has rebounded strongly after collapsing in 2022, but growth is now dependent on state-funded arms and munitions production. Kristalina Georgieva, speaking on CNBC, said the IMF forecast gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.6% for Russia this year, supported by the massive deployment of fiscal reserves in the country. #39;war effort.

Today, in Russia, military production is increasing and consumption is decreasing, she summarized. "This is pretty much what the Soviet Union was like: high level of production and low level of consumption", she added.

The Russian economy grew by 3.6% in 2023, following a contraction of 1.2% in 2022. Russia-based economists have highlighted the poor quality of economic growth. Missiles and shells can help increase GDP, but provide only limited benefits to the population. "I think that the Russian economy is going to face very difficult times due to the exodus of its population and limited access to technology", said Kristalina Georgieva. "If this figure (2.6%) seems to be good, it masks more important problems", concluded the manager.< /p>

The Ukraine aid project takes a new step in the Senate

The United States Senate voted this Sunday by a clear majority to remove the last procedural obstacle before a vote on the bill providing aid of 95.34 billion dollars for the benefit of Ukraine, D' #39;Israel and Taiwan, despite the opposition of Donald Trump and his supporters.

The Senate, where the Democrats only have a narrow majority, voted by 67 votes to 27 in favor of putting the text to a vote in the coming days presented by the Joe Biden administration. It took 60 votes for the text to pass the obstacle.

Eighteen Republican elected officials supported the bill even though Donald Trump, who is leading the race in the primaries for the November presidential election, has made numerous statements hostile to the continuation of the bill. Aid to Ukraine, or only in the form of loans. The release of this aid of 61 billion dollars – a large part of which would remain in the United States to finance the American arms industry – is crucial for Kiev as the second anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Adoption of the bill by the Senate would not mark the end of the road, however, since it would still have to be adopted by the House of Representatives, where the Republicans have a short majority and whose President Mike Johnson, close to Donald Trump, does not hide his reluctance to put it on the agenda.

Faced with these prevarications, President Joe Biden estimated on Friday that Congress would be guilty of "criminal negligence"if he did not vote for the law. Republican senators and representatives who support the project hope that the bipartisan vote in the Senate will encourage elected officials in the House to do the same, especially as continued aid to Ukraine continues to enjoy strong support in American public opinion.

Zelensky plans a tour of several European countries, including France

Volodymyr Zelensky plans to tour several European countries this week in the hope of obtaining new aid for Ukraine on the sidelines of the Munich security conference, the Bloomberg agency reported this Monday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The Ukrainian president could notably make stops in Paris and Berlin before going to Munich, where the conference will be held from Friday to Sunday, the sources said.

This mini European tour by Volodymyr Zelensky should come as French President Emmanuel Macron has just canceled the trip to Kiev that he was due to make this week.

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