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Financial Times: EU states face Brussels' audit of their arms supplies to Ukraine

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 16, 2024 4:07 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian military conducts training on Leopard 2 tanks at the test site on May 14, 2023, in Ukraine. (Serhii Mykhalchuk/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Brussels is conducting an audit of how much weaponry European Union members have supplied to Ukraine since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in response to claims that some countries have failed to provide as much as they could, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Jan. 16, citing undisclosed diplomatic sources.

Western military and financial aid to Ukraine has declined in recent months, limiting Kyiv's ability to defend against Russian attacks and launch counteroffensive operations.

Between August and October last year, the amount of newly committed aid to Ukraine decreased by 87% compared to the same period in 2022, according to a study by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel) published on Dec. 7.

The EU's diplomatic service, the External Action Service (EEAS), is conducting the audit of arms sent to Ukraine by member states, aiming to present the results before a summit of EU leaders on Feb. 1, three unnamed EU diplomats told the FT.

The audit will rely on materials provided by EU states in response to EEAS requests, and some countries have already shown reluctance to provide complete data, one of the diplomats said.

The decision to review EU members' contribution to arming Ukraine followed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's criticism of other EU countries for providing insufficient military aid to Ukraine.

Scholz will use the upcoming EU summit in February as an opportunity to press Ukraine's European allies to increase their provision of military aid, Politico reported on Jan. 9, citing an anonymous German official.

The EU will also vote on the 50 billion euro ($54 billion) financial support package for Ukraine at the Feb. 1 summit that was blocked by Hungary in December.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Jan. 8 that he is confident the funding will be approved, even if it may have to take another form in the face of Hungary's resistance.

Germany was widely criticized in the immediate aftermath of Russia's full-scale invasion for the country's sluggish and overly cautious approach to providing aid to Ukraine, considering its status as the EU's biggest economy.

Berlin has since significantly increased its military support for Ukraine, becoming the second-largest provider of military aid after the U.S.

Other major providers of defense assistance to Ukraine include the U.K., Norway, Denmark, Poland, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden and Finland.

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