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Estonian defense minister says EU should increase Ukrainian soldier training program to 100,000 personnel

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 28, 2024 8:06 PM 2 min read
Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur speaks to reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on Oct. 18, 2022. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
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Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said on May 28 that the EU's training program of Ukrainian soldiers should increase its capacity from 60,000 to 100,00 personnel.

The European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) was established in October 2022 to provide individual, collective, and specialized training for the Ukrainian military.

Pevkur said that the EU previously promised to increased EUMAM's capacity from 40,000 to 60,000, but said that it is "not enough."

"I believe that is okay to send a very clear signal that we will go to 100,000 (soldiers)" in response to increased Russian pressure and the renewed Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, Pevkur said.

"But of course that means that Ukrainians (will be able to) give us the soldiers to train," he added.

Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi said on May 27 that he had already signed documents "that will allow the first French instructors to visit training centers (in Ukraine) soon."

Ukraine's Defense Ministry later clarified, and said that Ukraine has been discussing with France and other countries the presence of foreign instructors on the ground to train the Ukrainian soldiers since February 2024.

France's Defense Ministry told Reuters that training in Ukraine is one of the projects that is still being discussed, which was later confirmed by Kyiv.

"As of now, our discussions with France and other countries on this issue are still ongoing," Ukraine's Defense Ministry said.

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