EU reaches political agreement on military assistance mission in Ukraine

EU reaches political agreement on military assistance mission in Ukraine

After months of waiting, EU ambassadors reached a political agreement on Wednesday (13 October) on a military assistance mission to train 15,000 members of the Ukrainian armed forces in several Member States.

The political agreement is to be signed by the EU foreign ministers at their regular meeting next Monday in Luxembourg.

The EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM)was to train a large number of members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for a variety of military functions outside Ukraine, according to a proposal previewed at EURACTIV.

EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell announced the idea of ​​an EU military assistance mission in August, but it was already in the works before Russia invaded Ukraine, albeit with a different aim.

Up to 15,000 members of the Ukrainian armed forces could be trained.initialby winter, and after that that number could rise significantly, said EU diplomats familiar with the matter.

In recent months, several member states have individually trained Ukrainian armed forces, mainly to enable them to use the weapons they shipped to the war-torn country.

The mission’s idea is to supplement the current training efforts of individual EU member states with additional offers and to better coordinate training throughout the Union.

The political agreement also envisages the establishment of an EUMAM headquarters, which Poland and Germany have agreed to host, as well as several training centers in each EU Member State.

Germany is expected to provide specialized training such as mine clearance and tactical operations, while Poland will provide multinational operational-level training in air defense, artillery, cybernetics and medical support.

The Polish site is expected to be on the country’s southern border with Ukraine, near the town of Rzeszów, which since the beginning of the year has become a hub for transporting military and humanitarian aid to Kyiv.

According to several European diplomats, the delay in political approval of the mission is due to Berlin’s concerns about the “too aggressive attitude of Warsaw towards Russia» and to the question whether the country in the «control and controlthe mission.

It would be “mockery” and “financially illogicalto look for another option in another, less involved member state for logistical reasons and because of the training infrastructure already in place in the country, a western EU diplomat told EURACTIV.

«Their infrastructure and engagement, as well as cooperation with the Americans and British, have been vital in providing assistance to Ukraine since the invasion of Russia. Why change a successful team and create more bureaucracy?said another European diplomat.

EUMAM is said to be backed by the EU’s European Peace Facility (EPF), which has already received €2.6 billion to fund Ukraine’s purchases of arms and military equipment from EU member states.

A further tranche of 500 million euros is to be awarded to Ukraine on Monday at the meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Reference: www.euractiv.fr

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