EU military support to Ukraine is increasing

EU military support to Ukraine is increasing

The European Union has stepped up its military support to Ukraine by launching a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers on its territory on Monday and has threatened Iran with sanctions if it detects delivery of combat drones to Moscow.

“Russia is losing this war, morally, politically and even militarily. That is why we must continue our support for Ukraine and continue with sanctions to make it difficult for Vladimir Putin to fund the war effort,” said the head of European diplomacy. Josep Borrell, after a meeting in Luxembourg with EU foreign ministers.

The Europeans also sanctioned 11 Iranian officials, including the head of the deputy police, who were involved in cracking down on protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini.

They are also preparing sanctions against Tehran if “evidence” shows the delivery of drones to Moscow to be used for strikes in Ukraine.

They intend to respond to calls for new “strong” measures against Moscow launched by the head of Ukraine’s diplomacy Dmytro Kouleba, who was forced to flee to a safe house because of Monday’s drone bombing of Kyiv.

“The issue of new sanctions was discussed should Russia continue its furious onslaught,” confirmed French Minister Catherine Colonna.

“A number of ministers wanted to deepen work on the Iranian drones deployed by Russia. It could be in violation of a United Nations resolution and Iran could face sanctions,” she added.

“Once the evidence is gathered, I don’t think we will encounter the slightest difficulty in adopting measures,” assured Josep Borrell.

– abstention by Budapest –

The EU mission will be operational very quickly. Their aim is to provide 12,000 Ukrainian soldiers with “basic training” and 2,800 others with “special training”.

Hungary abstained, but Budapest did not block the establishment of the mission, Foreign Minister Peter Sziijarto specified. “She will not support this mission or contribute anything,” he said.

France will train “up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers” on its soil. It is about providing “general training” for the combatants, responding to “special needs reported by the Ukrainians, for example in logistics” and “training them on the equipment provided,” said Minister Sébastien Lecornu in a statement on Saturday Interview with the French daily Le Parisien.

These training courses can benefit from funds from the European Peace Facility (EPF), the fund established outside the European budget to provide military assistance to Ukraine.

The European mission will complement the training of the British and Americans.

Poland will serve as a hub because “it is the exit door for Ukrainians and the return door,” it was underlined. Germany, for its part, wants to form a Ukrainian brigade.

According to Brussels, a budget of 50 to 60 million euros per year is planned for the start-up phase of the mission.

This budget was approved with the granting of new funds of 500 million euros for the European Peace Facility, increasing the effort of the Europeans to 3 billion euros, to which are added “bipartite contributions, which are much more important”, stressed Josep Borrell.

Hungary agreed to this new allocation “because it includes amounts for “other important goals”, explained the Hungarian minister.

Josep Borrell emphasized that Budapest “never prevented the adoption of sanctions” against Russia.

Ukrainians are urgently demanding protection systems against rockets and especially drones, which hit Kyiv again on Monday and killed at least three people, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

France, the United States, Germany and Spain have announced the delivery of surface-to-air missile systems that can be used against these devices.


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