UK, Denmark, Sweden pledge more weapons to Kiev ahead of donor meeting
Three European countries commit to supplying Ukraine with more weapons as the latter implores the need for a firm position against Russia.
In response to Kiev's plea for allies to increase supplies "considerably" ahead of a significant donor meeting set to be held in Germany on Friday, three European allies, the UK, Denmark, and Sweden, committed to sending missiles and artillery to Ukraine on Thursday.
The fresh commitments defied a Kremlin warning which slammed providing Ukraine with long-range weapons as an "extremely dangerous" escalation, which could trigger a direct confrontation between Russia and the collective West.
The United Kingdom announced the deployment of 600 Brimstone missiles to Kiev, while Denmark declared it will supply Ukraine with 19 French-made Caesar Howitzers. On its end, Sweden stated that it would provide Kiev with its Archer artillery system, which includes a modern mobile Howitzer.
Charles Michel, the EU chief that visited Kiev, argued that he believed tanks "must be delivered."
To that note, Mykhaylo Podolyak, the senior Ukrainian presidential aide, said it was "time to stop trembling at Putin and take the final step."
True leadership is about leading by example, not about looking up to others. There are no taboos. From Washington to London, from Paris to Warsaw, one thing is said: 🇺🇦 needs tanks; tanks — the key to end war properly. Time to stop trembling at Putin and take the final step.— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) January 19, 2023
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EU provided Ukraine with $12.5bln worth of weapons
On January 18, EU Spokesperson Nabila Massrali announced that $12.5 billion worth of weapons have been dispatched to Ukraine, either individually by EU states or through the European Union's crowdfunding mechanisms.
She also said that member states of the European Peace Facility (EPF), which was established back in 2021 to finance joint military action, requested that more than half of the savings of the fund be reimbursed to Ukraine (which amounts to around $3.35 billion).
"As of today, between the EPF and bilateral efforts of member states, the European Union as a whole has supplied 11.5 billion euros in military equipment to Ukraine," Massrali told reporters in Brussels.
The spokesperson, however, avoided questions about battle tanks in specific. "As far as tanks are concerned, I can't say that these tanks will be part of the peace facility... Discussions are ongoing and they are confidential," she said.
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.
Read more: Germany: No Leopard tanks to Kiev unless US agrees to send its Abrams