EU to grant more money for Ukrainian weapons and soldier training – POLITICO
The EU plans to step up military support for Ukraine with an additional €500m to repay members’ arms donations and a new initiative to train 15,000 Ukrainian troops on EU soil, according to several sources. diplomats.
The decision is expected to be finalized on Monday when EU foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg.
The additional arms funding would bring the EU’s total to 3.1 billion euros since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine – all from the functioning ‘European Peace Facility’ outside the normal EU budget, which is not allowed to pay for such military expenditure. efforts.
The fund was used to reimburse EU countries that ship weapons to Ukraine – a first for the EU. But it has also been inundated with requests for reimbursement that far exceeded the funds authorized for the effort, meaning that more recently the EU could only cover half of the costs.
The training mission would represent another first for the EU – previously only EU countries had offered training for the Kyiv army. The joint EU mission will last two years, according to a senior EU official.
Discussions about the EU training mission have been ongoing for months, dating back even before the war started, when the EU was considering a slightly different training effort. But many countries remained wary, fearing the move could trigger an escalation with Russia.
The agreement, which is expected to be finalized on Monday, comes after a long discussion on issues such as the transfer of Ukrainian soldiers across EU territory for training in countries such as Poland and Germany. Final details will likely be worked out in the coming weeks once foreign ministers give the go-ahead.
Several diplomats said the training mission’s headquarters will be in Brussels, but other outposts will be in Germany and Poland. The Polish site is expected to train the majority of Kyiv’s soldiers, around 12,000. Meanwhile, Germany will focus on the specialized training of 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers. But the numbers could change depending on Ukrainian needs, diplomats said.
Barring further complications, training could begin within a month.
According to some diplomats, the EU is also discussing whether to include the UK in its training mission. The UK has been training Ukrainian troops alone since the start of the war, with a program that aims to support 10,000 new soldiers within a year.
Leonie Kijewski and Stuart Lau contributed reporting