EU to increase weapons fund used for Ukraine by €2 bn: Bloomberg
EU foreign ministers could sign off on a €2 billion increase in the size of its fund to finance weapons deliveries.
The European Union is set to increase the size of its fund to finance weapons deliveries by at least €2 billion ($2.1 billion) as early as next week, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions.
Governments are repaid for military assistance to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility, which has a cap of approximately $6 billion but is also used to support other nations.
Bloomberg indicated that more than half of the fund has been pledged for military assistance to Ukraine.
According to the sources, who asked not to be named, EU foreign ministers could sign off on the €2 billion increase when they meet in Brussels on December 12, adding that if not finalized by then, EU leaders could take up the matter later in the week.
For the proposal to be passed, it requires the unanimous approval of all EU member states. Bloomberg cited the sources as saying that the European Peace Facility could be topped up with more money at a later date.
EU chief: Ukraine war proves EU lacks critical military capabilities
Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell pointed out that the war in Ukraine has depleted the bloc's weapon stockpiles, showing that it lacks "critical" capabilities to protect against threats on its border.
"This war against Ukraine has been a brutal wake-up for many of us," Borrell told a defense conference in Brussels. "We realize that our military stockpiles have been quickly depleted due to years of under-investment."
Since February, European states have sent billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine without almost any restraint, depleting their stockpiles. NATO and European states have recently felt the heat, ramping up their military spending to match their demands.
"We realize that we lack critical defense capabilities. We lack the capabilities that we need to defend ourselves from a higher level of threats," Borrell said. "We are facing threats, real threats, close by, and (they are) likely to get worse."
The EU foreign policy chief stressed that the EU will need to further increase its military spending and its countries need to ramp up their joint procurement and investment in military technologies to compensate for their deficiencies.
EU Commission proposes 9th package of anti-Russia sanctions: President
This comes after the European Commission proposed on Wednesday imposing new sanctions on Russia's armed forces, three banks, and several officials, as part of the bloc's anti-Russia sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
The EU has already imposed eight waves of unprecedented anti-Russia sanctions since the start of the Ukraine war in February, including targeting Russian key oil exports.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen indicated that the EU would now look to add "almost 200 individuals and entities" to its visa ban and asset freeze blacklist, including military officers, ministers, and defense firms.