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EU begins discussions on a €20 billion military aid for Ukraine

EU begins discussions on a €20 billion military aid for Ukraine

EU has started discussions on a €20 billion military aid for Ukraine. The 20 billion euro ($22.4 billion) fund will cover the costs of weaponry, ammunition, and military assistance for Ukraine over a four-year period. However, EU member states will scrutinize the plan further before reaching any decision.

High Representative Josep Borrell presented the proposal during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, aiming to establish long-term European support for Kyiv after facing over a year of challenges in responding to Russia’s invasion.

The EU military aid for Ukraine aligns with international efforts to provide Ukraine with enduring security assurances, following an announcement by G7 members during the NATO summit in Vilnius last week.

“We suggested creating a dedicated section under the European Peace Facility, allocating up to 5 billion euros annually for the next four years to fulfill Ukraine’s defense requirements,” Borrell stated during a news conference after the meeting. “This considers the evaluation of the needs and costs for our long-term security commitments to Ukraine.”

European peace facility and future military aid for Ukraine

The European Peace Facility (EPF), established in 2021, is designed to finance actions that prevent conflicts, promote peace, and enhance global security. Originally valued at 5.7 billion euros, it has since increased to 12 billion.

The facility serves to reimburse EU member countries for part of the expenses incurred in supplying weapons, ammunition, and other military assistance to non-EU nations.

Although several ministers expressed approval for the concept of longer-term military aid for Ukraine, they emphasized that the specifics and funding amounts would be subject to further discussions. Their respective governments would be responsible for financing any increments to the fund.

Portuguese Foreign Minister Joao Gomes Cravinho told reporters, “We are going to develop a fund for the defense of Ukraine.” As for the amounts, we are not there yet.”

Borrell highlighted that comprehensive discussions among EU ministers about the fund would occur during a ministerial meeting in Spain.

Challenges in EU’s arms supplies and aid proposals for Ukraine

The EU’s decision to finance arms to a war-torn nation was historic, shifting from its peaceful focus. However, the deliberations on the new proposal are expected to face challenges.

Hungary is currently withholding 500 million euros in EPF funds for Ukraine aid, demanding OTP bank removal from Ukrainian blacklist.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stated that Budapest would maintain the same position regarding the new proposal. “Neither for the 500 million blocked so far, nor for the 20 billion now proposed, are we willing to engage in any kind of negotiations as long as OTP is on this list,” he emphasized.

EU member states intend to review the Borrell plan in conjunction with a proposal from the European Commission, which aims to provide 50 billion euros in economic aid to Ukraine during the same four-year period.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock conveyed, “It’s not enough to simply put sums of money on the table. It has to be logically and sensibly interlinked, and that’s what we’re talking about today.”

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