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EU to send 4.5 billion euros to Ukraine in March in first payment under new aid program

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2024 8:00 PM 2 min read
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in Kyiv on Feb. 24, 2024. (President Volodymyr Zelensky / X)
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The European Union’s new 50 billion euro ($54 billion) Ukraine Facility will make its first transfer of 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) to Ukraine in March, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Feb. 24.

Von der Leyen announced this on the social media platform X after a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. The two also discussed issues with Ukrainian exports at the land border and joint work in the defense industry, according to her post.

Von der Leyen arrived in Kyiv on Feb. 24, the two-year anniversary of the launch of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Also in Kyiv for the anniversary were Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

All 27 EU members agreed to the creation of the 50 billion euro support package on Feb. 1, following a delay due to opposition from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Financial support from the EU has become increasingly vital in Ukraine's fight against Russia, as foreign aid from the United States remains stalled for months in the country’s Congress.

The EU has so far delivered 28 billion euros ($30.3 billion) in military assistance to Ukraine, according to von der Leyen.

Earlier in the day during a press conference, von der Leyen announced that the EU will open an office for Defense Innovation in Kyiv.  The new office will support Ukraine's integration with EU defense programs, as well as allow European countries to learn from Ukrainian battlefield experiences.

Volker: West has made a lot of mistakes in Russia-Ukraine war
The West doesn’t spend enough time analyzing its miscalculations in the Russia-Ukraine war, Kurt Volker, a former U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations, said in an interview with the Kyiv Independent. “We have made many mistakes, from just before Russia’s invasion and throughout. The…
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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