EU leaders decided to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” by agreeing to provide “future security commitments” at the two-day summit of the European Council on 30 June, Euronews reported.
The agreement aims to replace the bloc’s band-aid approach to Ukraine with long-term financial, humanitarian, and military assistance over the coming years so that Ukraine could not only “survive the war and arrive at the negotiating table with Russia in a powerful position,” but also “integrate further into the EU and NATO to facilitate membership.”
“There’s clearly a move designed to pre-empt also the NATO summit,” said Bruno Lété, senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US, adding, “Ukraine realistically would be looking for a steady flow of weapons, ensuring exchange of advanced technology, and, of course, plenty of political guarantees that it can further integrate towards the EU and with NATO.”
Heads of the EU states are yet to define what shape or form these EU commitments will take, but some of them have already made a statement on this occasion.
“It is in our interest for [Ukraine] to have credible security guarantees with us in a multilateral framework, with either multilateral or bilateral support,” French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, told: “We need a strategy on how to support Ukraine in the fight for independence and integrity and sovereignty.”
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrelll supported the idea, saying that military support for Ukraine “has to be in the long term: during the war and after the war.”
The European Commission member states to agree to a €66 billion top-up of the EU’s current multi-year budget, €50 billion, which would be used to provide “predictable financial support for Ukraine” over the coming four years.
Besides, a boost to the EU’s training mission for Ukrainian troops could also be in the offing. EU member states have pledged to train 30,000 troops before the end of 2023 (they have already provided training to over 24,000 as of June 2023).
The European Commission might create the European Peace Facility (EPF), an off-budget fund through which member states get partially reimbursed for military equipment they donate to partner countries; this would be solely dedicated to Ukraine also could materialize.
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