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FT: EU nears deal on adding $5.5 billion to defense fund for Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek March 12, 2024 6:36 PM 2 min read
The flags of the European Union and Ukraine outside the EU Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, on Feb. 24, 2023. (Ksenia Kuleshova/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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EU countries are close to a deal to add 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to a fund used to provide military assistance to Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on March 12, citing four unnamed officials briefed on the discussions.

The fund known as the European Peace Facility (EPF) has been largely depleted as member states have disagreed on the best way to replenish it and unlock further cash for Ukraine.

The deal, which should be formally approved by member states on March 13, should allow EU countries to reimburse their defense supplies to Kyiv.

It will prioritize weapons produced inside the EU but will not exclude those manufactured outside the bloc, the FT wrote. This decision is reminiscent of disagreements on how to finance the pledged 1 million artillery shells for Ukraine, with some members pushing to prioritize European defense companies.

Larger states contributing to the EPF have previously complained that smaller countries with stockpiles of Soviet-era equipment sent outdated military gear to Ukraine and used the reimbursements to modernize their own arsenals.

The FT reported in February that countries like Germany and France want to phase out the reimbursement model this year and instead focus EU funds directly on arms contracts within the continent.

Foreign arms supplies are now critical for Ukraine as assistance from the U.S., a key military donor, has been stalled for months by domestic political infighting.

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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