DThe Chancellor rightly pointed out in an American newspaper that the bottom line is that the Europeans are Ukraine's biggest financial supporters. As the second largest arms supplier, Germany doesn't need to hide either; the federal government has now done its homework.

The fact that Germany is now being given a leading role in Washington on this very important issue is justified and is one of the few strategic achievements of the traffic light coalition. Others, especially France, have some catching up to do.

Trump's campaign

However, that does not change the fact that the fate of Ukraine has become a plaything in American domestic politics. The Chancellor's appeals in Washington will have little impact on the deadlock in Congress, which was largely brought about by Trump.

The fact that the Republicans this week rejected a deal that would have combined aid to Ukraine with a significantly more restrictive border policy shows how far the dysfunctionality in the US political system has progressed. The party sacrificed what was supposed to be a matter close to its heart in order to secure a campaign issue for Trump.

Not only aid to Kiev, but also aid to Israel and Taiwan remained blocked, as did money for the US military – pretty much everything that is relevant to America's global interests. To become a world power you need two things: a strong military and political will. The United States has fewer and fewer of the latter.

Too many people in Europe are still surprised by this development. Of course it would be good if Congress could still come to an agreement. But Europeans should be prepared for the fact that they will have to do much more if Putin's advance westward is to be further halted.

The money for this is not easy to come by on a continent with high levels of debt. But aggressors have to be contained, where would we know this better than in Europe.