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EU ministers agree to provide Ukraine with 1 billion euros in immediate military aid

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 8, 2023 8:36 PM 2 min read
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European Union defense ministers have agreed to supply Ukraine with one billion euros worth of ammunition from their stocks, EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said on March 8, cited by Ukrinform news outlet.

The immediate delivery would be reimbursed from the European Peace Facility defense fund, according to Borrell's plan he proposed at an informal meeting of EU defense ministers.

European Peace Facility is an off-budget fund established in 2021 the EU has used to provide Ukraine with its critically needed military equipment to defend itself from Russia's full-scale invasion.

Another one billion euros would be allocated to order the production of additional 155 mm ammunition to replenish the national stocks and continue helping Ukraine, Borrell said at a press conference following the summit.

EU member states are supposed to place an order collectively which should reduce costs and fasten production, Ukrinform wrote.

"Member states willing to participate have to agree on the terms of the procedure. Once we decide the total amount, then it's a negotiation between the 15 European firms that can produce this kind of weaponry to fix a price and a timely delivery," Borrell said, as quoted by Euronews.

"It's not going to be short, but the sooner we start, the better," the EU top diplomat added. "I hope that by the end of the month, we can arrange with member states who are willing to participate."

The third pillar of Borrell's plan on ramping up military assistance to Ukraine is designed for a long-term perspective and involves increasing the production potential of the European defense industry.

EU foreign and defense ministers are expected to reach a "concrete and formal decision" on the proposed aid package for Ukraine when they gather in Brussels on March 20, according to the union's top diplomat. The final decision on this issue will remain with the European Parliament.

"Unfortunately, we are in wartime, and we have to form a war mentality. I would like to talk about peace and peace talks, but I have to talk about ammunition," Borrell added, according to Ukrinform.

"We should keep the door open for peace negotiations, but think about increasing the production of ammunition and reducing the time for their production."

Borrell: 'Ukrainians receive a lot of applause, but not enough ammunition'
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