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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

EU Plans to Give $22 Billion Ukraine Weapons Fund for the Next Four Years

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The European Union (EU) is planning to create a $22 billion fund to provide Ukraine with weapons and military aid over the next four years, as the country faces a Russian invasion that has killed thousands and displaced millions.

The proposal, which was presented by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to EU foreign ministers on Thursday, aims to transform existing support into a long-term commitment to Ukraine’s security and resilience.

According to Borrell, the fund would be part of the European Peace Facility (EPF), a mechanism created in 2021 to finance actions that prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security.

The fund would provide up to $5 billion a year for the next four years for the defense needs of Ukraine, including weapons, ammunition, training and equipment.

The proposal came amid an international drive to give Ukraine long-term security assurances, as announced by members of the G7 group on the sidelines of last week’s NATO summit in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. At that summit, NATO leaders said Ukraine should be able to join the military alliance in the future but stopped short of offering it an immediate invitation – an outcome that was not what Ukrainian officials had hoped for. “Ukraine’s future is in NATO,” they said in a declaration but offered no timeline for the process.

Mindful of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s disappointment over his hopes for a membership timetable, Western officials stressed that there would be a broader package of support proposals designed to give Ukraine a military edge over Russian forces.

The EU fund plan will be discussed in more detail at the EU foreign ministers meeting in the Spanish city of Toledo on August 31.

However, some member states, notably Hungary, may oppose the idea, and final political approval is not expected until European leaders meet at EU summits in October or even December.

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