European Union has agreed on plans to provide €27 billion in military aid to Ukraine, the highest figure so far since last year. The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell confirmed this figure during a press conference on the agenda for the EU meeting in Brussels, stressing the importance of continued support for Ukraine, especially in light of renewed violence in the Middle East.
According to Borrell, the EU’s support for Ukraine has never been stronger, and the bloc continues to provide weapons and military training to Ukrainian soldiers. The goal is to deliver 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine by next March, but the EU is struggling to meet this target. Bloomberg reported that the EU has only provided 30% of the total figure, and Borrell acknowledged that they may not reach the target by the end of the year.
Despite the EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine, there are indications that some member states have objections. Germany has raised questions about a €20 billion spending plan favored by Borrell, while other countries are constrained by the reality of their public finances. Additionally, Slovakia has declared an end to all lethal aid to Ukraine, and France announced that it would scale back arms shipments. French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu stated that Paris would no longer supply weapons from its own stockpiles to Ukraine, and instead, Ukraine would have to purchase equipment from private companies using money from a special fund.
The EU’s efforts to provide military assistance to Ukraine come as Ukrainian forces have faced challenges in their conflict with Moscow. Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive has lagged on into the fall, with troops struggling to advance beyond heavy Russian fortifications. Moscow’s Defense Ministry has estimated that Ukraine has lost more than 90,000 troops, along with over 55 tanks and 1,900 armored vehicles, since its offensive began in June.
Despite these challenges, the EU remains committed to supporting Ukraine’s military efforts. Borrell emphasized that the goal is to increase the production capacity of ammunition and ensure that factories are working to meet the demand for artillery shells. He noted that member states have embarked on the production of ammunition, and efforts are underway to increase capacity to meet the target of supplying 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine.
Overall, the EU’s commitment to providing military aid to Ukraine underscores its ongoing support for the country’s security and defense. As geopolitical tensions and conflicts persist in Eastern Europe, the EU is reaffirming its commitment to backing Ukraine in its efforts to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The European Union’s support for Ukraine has been a topic of ongoing debate and discussion within the bloc. Member states are navigating the complex geopolitical landscape in the region, and decisions about military aid and assistance can have far-reaching implications for the security and stability of the region. As the EU continues to grapple with these challenges, it remains focused on its goal of supporting Ukraine and addressing the evolving security dynamics in Eastern Europe.