Versailles (dpa) – The EU wants to provide another 500 million euros for the supply of weapons and equipment to the Ukrainian armed forces.
This was announced by the President of the EU Council, Charles Michel, on Friday after consultations with heads of state and government in Versailles, France.
At the end of February, a first package of 500 million euros had already been approved. Of that amount, $450 million is set aside for weapons supplies and $50 million for other things like fuel and protective gear.
The money for military support comes from the so-called European Peace Mechanism. It is a new EU funding instrument that can also be used to strengthen the capacities of the armed forces in partner countries. For the period from 2021 to 2027, the peace fund is endowed with around five billion euros.
Moscow accusations of arms deliveries
Russia accuses the West of exacerbating the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine. “We see how dangerous our Western colleagues, including the European Union, are now acting,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week.
At first it was unclear what kind of material the EU will finance with the extra €500 million. Ukraine recently wanted air defense systems with a range of up to 70 kilometers, anti-drone weapons, mine clearance equipment, radio equipment, radar stations, night vision devices and ambulances.
The EU does not give Ukraine any hope of rapid admission
The heads of state and government of the EU states clearly dimmed Ukraine’s hopes for speedy accession to the European Union.
The declaration of the EU summit in Versailles early in the morning says: “Ukraine is part of our European family.” However, no concrete commitments were made with Kiev with a view to rapid accession to the EU, even after the eight-hour summit deliberations.
EU Summit Declaration in Versailles
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his colleagues simply promised Ukraine to further strengthen ties and deepen partnership to support them on their European path. In addition, it was emphasized that the EU Commission had been promptly given the task of examining Ukraine’s application for EU membership.
Extensive aid for Ukrainian war refugees
The heads of state and government of the EU states also promised extensive aid to all war refugees in Ukraine. At the same time, they called on Russia to allow humanitarian access to the victims and displaced persons of the war in Ukraine and to allow the safe transit of the civilian population to escape.
“The EU and its member states will continue to show solidarity and provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to all refugees and host countries,” the statement said. Russia is called upon to “fully comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law”.