Trump's stated reasons for holding back Ukraine's aid don't hold up under scrutiny

If President Trump’s goal in withholding U.S. aid to Ukraine was to end the corruption that had plagued successive governments there, last summer was a curious time to do it.

In late May, weeks before Trump ordered nearly $400 million in congressionally approved security assistance frozen, the Defense and State departments certified that the Ukrainian government had taken “substantial actions” toward “decreasing corruption and increasing accountability” and recommended the aid go forward…

European nations have far outpaced the United States in Ukraine, spending $18.3 billion since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and launched an ongoing separatist war in the eastern part of the country that has left at least 13,000 people dead. The bulk of the money — $16.8 billion — came from the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The rest, $1.5 billion, came bilaterally from the 28 E.U. countries.

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