EU ministers approve $500Mln in new military aid, training for Ukraine
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell unveils the sixth package of assistance for Ukraine.
A new package of aid worth 500 million euros ($486 million) was agreed upon by the Council of the European Union on Monday to the Ukrainian military along with a Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM) to train Ukrainian soldiers.
"The mobilisation of an additional €500 million by EU member states is yet another proof that we remain steadfast in our support to the Ukrainian armed forces to defend the country against the escalating illegal aggression," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
This is the sixth package of assistance for Ukraine that will be sent under the EU's European Peace Facility, bringing the total to 3.1 billion euros since late February. Military equipment for defensive purposes, maintenance, and repair of vehicles will be included in the package as well as fuel and personal protective equipment.
Also, the EU foreign ministers have agreed to start a mission with the aim of training Ukrainian soldiers and "enhancing the military capability of Ukraine’s Armed Forces to effectively conduct military operations."
"The EU Military Assistance Mission will train the Ukrainian Armed Forces so they can continue their courageous fight. EUMAM is not just a training mission, it is clear proof that the EU will stand by Ukraine for as long as is needed," Borrell noted.
The EUMAM will be organized in EU countries' territories and is expected to last for two years.
EU defense ministers have agreed on establishing a joint military assistance mission to Kiev, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at a press conference on August 30. Borrell noted that the EU continues to support Ukraine and they "unanimously" agreed on this, adding that "the EU stands united in support of Ukraine and the member states remain ready to continue support as long as needed and as much as needed."
On one hand, the US and the EU keep stacking military aid packages, with the former's recent August package including a $3bln arms supply and the latter's seen through Germany's continuation of weaponry transfer to Ukraine, including new equipment that the German Armed Forces do not have enough of, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The UK is also in deep water, according to a source cited by The Times newspaper, given that it is running out of weapons and financial contributions for Ukraine, which means that the new UK Prime Minister will face the question of whether to make billions of pounds of additional support at a time when public finances are under strain.
On another hand, Russia criticizes the flow of weapons to Ukraine from the West, saying it adds fuel to the fire, and warning that any military shipments on Ukrainian territory would be "legitimate targets" for the Russian forces.
Read: Experts warn arms for Ukraine could have disastrous consequences