The 27 member states of the European Union agreed on Wednesday 500 million euros, equivalent to an additional 550 million dollars, in military aid to Ukraine, ahead of a summit between the leaders of the European Union and the US president, Joe Biden, about the Russian invasion.
EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said the EU continues to support Ukraine against Russia and the suffering that “affects the Ukrainian people.”
With this amount, the total amount of the bloc’s military aid to Ukraine doubles to 1,000 million euros after a previous package of 500 million euros, last February.
Sending weapons to a non-EU state that is under attack is considered a precedent in EU history.
However, the approval of a second tranche was not easy. Earlier this month, Borrell announced the aid tranche before the approval of the EU governments.
EU treaties prevent the bloc from using EU budget funds for military projects.
Ukraine’s first defense contribution came in the amount of 500 million euros, financed separately from EU member states.
Member states also provided weapons to Ukraine in bilateral efforts independent of the bloc.
Biden is due to discuss the conflict in Ukraine with European Union leaders at a summit on Thursday after NATO leaders meet at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to address Biden and other NATO leaders via video link, after which he will speak again with the US president and European Union leaders.