EU set to approve new tranche of military aid for Ukraine
EU defense ministers discuss bloc’s military reform plans, Sweden’s, Finland’s NATO membership
EU defense ministers are set to approve another €500 million (approximately $524 million) in military aid for Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.
“We have to continue to support the Ukrainians with arms, that's why we will pull €500 million more” from the European Peace Facility, Borrell told reporters on the way to the meeting of EU defense ministers.
The new tranche of military support would bring the bloc's military aid to €2 billion ($2.1 billion).
Borrell explained that the defense ministers will discuss the situation in Mali, as well as plans on reforming and boosting the bloc's military capacities in preparation for the EU leaders' summit.
In cooperation with the European Commission, the EU foreign policy chief is currently working on a report that assesses how much the EU needs “to invest to increase defense capabilities in front of the new threats and challenges that we are facing,” he said.
The ministers will discuss the latest developments in the war in Ukraine, as well as the NATO membership application of Sweden and Finland.
According to Borrell, the two countries will “receive a strong support from all member states because it increases our unity and makes us stronger.”
NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov will also join a part of the meeting.
The EU has allocated €1.5 billion (over $1.58 billion) in military aid to Ukraine and mobilized more than €4 billion in macro-financial assistance, humanitarian aid, and support to EU countries hosting refugees from Ukraine since the war began on Feb. 24.
It has also adopted five sets of sanctions against Russia, targeting individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, as well as banning the export of luxury goods, and coal imports, and excluding Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT international payment system.