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Reuters: EU's $21 billion Ukraine war fund receiving pushback

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk November 11, 2023 5:34 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian servicemen fire with a French-made CAESAR self-propelled howitzer toward Russian positions in eastern Ukraine on Dec. 28, 2022. (Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images)
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Several EU countries, including Germany, have voiced hesitation about supporting a $21 billion EU fund for military aid for Ukraine that is intended to be disbursed over four years, especially about the prospect of committing the money in advance, Reuters reported on Nov. 11, citing comments from unnamed diplomats.  

"I'm not going to declare it dead at this point yet. But of course, improvements can always be made," an unnamed senior EU diplomat told Reuters.

The fund, which was suggested by the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell in July 2023, would allocate $21 billion for the next four years within the framework of the European Peace Facility in order to reimburse member states' expenses on military support for Ukraine. The money is meant to partially cover both lethal and non-lethal equipment, allowing countries that adhere to the neutrality principle to contribute as well.

The European Peace Facility is a tool used to provide military aid to Ukraine and other partners of the EU.

Euractiv reported on Oct. 17 that the EU budget discussions were delaying the release of the fund, and a more concrete decision on the matter was unlikely before December.

One unnamed diplomat told Reuters that the "likelihood of Borrell's original proposal being adopted was declining."

Nonetheless, "many countries still wanted to have a commitment at (the) EU level," the diplomat said. Others echoed concerns about the fact that the proposal contained a long-term commitment, saying that the EU may instead decide to continue to fund Ukraine on a year-by-year basis.

However, that would run contrary to the logic of Borrell's proposal, which was to create a more predictable source of funding.

As of Nov. 3, the EU has provided Ukraine with almost $27 billion in military aid, including around $6 billion under the European Peace Facility, according to the European Commission website.

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