EU foreign policy chief: At least 21B euro being budgeted for 2024 for military assistance to Ukraine

Since the start of Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the European Union and its member states have provided and placed 28 billion euro of military equipment for Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on January 31, after an informal meeting of EU defence ministers.

“Then we asked the member states about their commitments for this year,” Borrell said.

“I still do not have a complete answer, but many member states have sent their inputs, and I can say that, at least it is going to be 21 billion euro being budgeted for 2024 for military assistance to Ukraine.

“You can see the acceleration. In a single year – ad minimum because there are still some member states pending – 21 billion euro compared to 28 billion euro in the two first years. It is as much in one year than previously in two years,” Borrell said.

“This is only part of the picture, because there are other significant positive trends. First, because I expect more information from member states,” he said.

“And second, because there is another milestone, and I want to insist on the importance, with our training mission [EUMAM Ukraine]. We have almost reached the target of 40 000 Ukrainian soldiers trained through our training mission in Ukraine.”

He said that EU defence ministers had agreed to add an additional 20 000 soldiers to those being trained, “and this will put the bar at 60 000 soldiers trained in total. This figure will be reached – 60 000 – by the end of [the] summer. And you know that good training means saving lives in the battlefield”.

Last year, the European Union and its member states committed to deliver a million artillery rounds to Ukraine within one year.

Based on the latest information received from EU countries – “and I stress again these figures keep evolving on a daily basis, not all member states have already sent their inputs, but with the overall picture at that moment – I can say that, since last March until now – the beginning of this year -, we have already delivered 330 000 ammunition rounds. So, [we have reached around] one third of the objective, mainly taken from our stockpiles, from existing stocks”.

By the end of the year, the planned deliveries will reach more than a million, because the figure on the pipeline amounts to 630 000.]

“I said it is pending formal confirmation, but I therefore can estimate that we will have delivered to Ukraine more than one million rounds of ammunition by the end of this year,” Borrell said.

The Sofia Globe staff

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