The government says it can juggle its finances for a few months, but warns of an economic crisis if Western assistance remains stuck.
Short of cash as well as personnel and equipment for its war against Russia, Ukraine’s government says it has cobbled together financing to last several months without long-stalled aid from the United States and Europe. But further delays would trigger an all-but-certain economic crisis, officials and analysts say.
Government workers might not get paid or lose their jobs. Retirees, already living close to a subsistence level, could slip deeper into poverty if their pensions are not topped up to keep pace with inflation. Museums and theaters — as well as government research institutes and universities — could be forced to shut their doors.
Restaurants, department stores and a host of other businesses currently remain open in Ukrainian cities away from the front line. But without enough financial aid, the ripple effects would quickly be felt across the economy, as the government runs out of cash to support a wide range of people and institutions.
Along with artillery shells, missiles and drones, Russia’s war in Ukraine is fought in the economies of both countries. Western sanctions are intended to curb Moscow’s resources, and Western aid is aimed at sustaining Ukraine. An economic crisis in Ukraine could severely undermine its ability to successfully fight the war, experts say.