The European Union's foreign policy office has presented member states with a proposal to update the fund providing military support to Ukraine as the EU moves from supplying weapons from existing stockpiles to purchasing new ones. This is reported by Bloomberg with a link to the relevant document.
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The document sets out the conditions for the creation of the previously proposed Ukraine Assistance Fund with an annual budget of about 5 billion euros, which EU governments were unable to agree on.
Under the current funding mechanism, known as the European Peace Fund (EPF), member countries receive reimbursement for the weapons they send to Ukraine. The size of the fund has been increased several times, but the decision to allocate and pay out funds requires unanimous support.
After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 7 financial assistance packages were approved for a total of 3.5 billion euros, as well as 2 billion euros for the supply of ammunition.
Member countries argued over reimbursement rates and the use of a mechanism for compensation procurement In addition, Hungary blocked the eighth tranche of funding to compensate EU countries for the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
Diplomatic representatives from several countries, including Germany, suggested at a meeting on Wednesday that the European Peace Fund as it was created is becoming less effective because in the future more supplies will come from newly acquired weapons rather than from existing ones. stocks. .
Other member states would prefer that the relief fund be included in the European Peace Fund. Some countries want to extend the current mechanism.
What is being proposed in the EU
The proposal aims to harmonize the different positions by changing the management of the fund. This will include fixing reimbursement rates and providing a higher bonus for joint initiatives between European and Ukrainian industry.
In particular, the draft also states that reimbursement for supplies from warehouses and unilateral purchases will be gradually cancelled.
The fund will have two main directions:
- providing lethal and non-lethal support to Ukraine through joint procurement through European industry; continuation of training and equipment of Ukrainian troops.
It is planned that the fund will satisfy Ukraine’s urgent needs for artillery, ammunition, UAVs, and air defense systems. In particular, we are talking about non-lethal assistance – mine clearance, military medical support and cybersecurity.
It is also noted that the involvement of non-European weapons and services in the EU’s work on preparation and the equipment of Ukrainian troops should be considered on a case-by-case basis.