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EU gives final approval to €5 billion in military aid for Ukraine

The Ukraine Assistance Fund aims to enhance the EU’s support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces by providing both lethal and non-lethal military equipment and training.
Ukrainian flags outside the EU Parliament building in Brussels. Source: European Interest
EU gives final approval to €5 billion in military aid for Ukraine

The EU Council has finally agreed to allocate an additional €5 billion in military aid for Ukraine in 2024 through the newly established Ukraine Assistance Fund (UAF) within the European Peace Facility (EPF).

Josep Borrelll, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, emphasized that this move demonstrates the EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s aggression.

“The Ukraine Assistance Fund turns our words into action,” Borrelll said.

The UAF aims to enhance the EU’s support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces by providing both lethal and non-lethal military equipment and training. It seeks to maximize the EU’s added value by delivering more and better operational support, complementing member states’ bilateral efforts, and focusing on increased joint procurement from the European and Norwegian defense industries.

In parallel, the Council has decided to improve the EPF’s governance rules to make them more sustainable and adaptable to the new international circumstances. These improved rules will leverage well-functioning national procurement structures and the European Defence Agency (EDA), while allowing flexibility in supply chains, including operators outside the EU or Norway.

Following this decision, the EPF’s financial ceiling will total over €17 billion for the 2021-2027 period.

In January, Borrelll proposed absorbing the EPF’s existing €6.5 billion assets into a new Ukraine-dedicated military fund, topped up by €5 billion annually over four years.

However, talks dragged on due to disputes over criteria like whether to discount bilateral donations from national contributions and whether to prioritize EU-made arms.

Previously, 80% of the bloc’s Ukraine military aid spending went outside the EU, mostly to the US.

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