The European Union (EU) has proposed a €5 billion military aid package for Ukraine in 2024, according to Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief. Borrell made the announcement during a joint press conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba in Kiev. However, the fate of the existing €500 million “European Peace Facility” fund, which has been vetoed by Hungary, remains uncertain.
Borrell expressed hope for reaching an agreement before the end of the year but did not specifically mention Hungary’s position on the current funds. Hungary has been holding up the funds since May, causing a deadlock in their distribution. Borrell emphasized that EU support for Ukraine would continue “in all dimensions” without referencing Budapest’s veto.
The absence of Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto was notable during the surprise meeting in Kiev, where foreign ministers from 26 other EU member states gathered to show their support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. A deputy represented Budapest at the meeting.
The €5 billion military aid package proposed by the EU is part of a larger effort to assist Ukraine. Borrell stated that the EU remains united in its support for Ukraine and remains committed to providing tools and resources. When asked about the specifics of the support, Borrell mentioned that the EU would “do more of the same.”
Borrell also revealed that the EU has already sent over €25 billion ($26.4 billion) in military aid to Ukraine since February 2022. The total amount of military, financial, and humanitarian support provided by the EU to Ukraine has reached €85 billion ($89.8 billion). Borrell emphasized that the bloc would continue aiding Ukraine regardless of the outcome in Washington, referring to the US Congress’s recent resolution that did not include new funding for Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden expressed his concern over any interruption in America’s support for Ukraine and urged both Democrats and Republicans to prioritize funding for Ukraine. However, according to officials, the Pentagon has approximately $1.6 billion remaining from the $25.9 billion allocated by Congress for Ukraine. This money is currently being used to replenish US military stockpiles. Additionally, an accounting error has freed up another $5.4 billion worth of weapons and ammunition from the US arsenal under Presidential Drawdown authority.
The proposed €5 billion military aid package from the EU demonstrates the bloc’s commitment to supporting Ukraine. Despite Hungary’s veto on the current funds, the EU remains determined to assist Ukraine in its ongoing conflict and maintain its unity in providing support.