EU foreign ministers green light further €500 million in spending
One billion euros: that is the sum now agreed upon by the European Union for ‘military support’ of Ukraine.
This support will take the form of ‘military equipment’ and ‘lethal weapons’.
On 27 February – the 4th day of the war – the EU approved the “unprecedented decision to finance arms supplies to a third country”, approving a package of €450 million for the purchase of lethal weapons, plus €50 million for non-lethal material – namely fuel and protective equipment.
That decision has now been doubled.
Logically, this suggests Portugal’s contribution, which on February 27 was set at “around €8 to €10 million, will now increase to between €16-€20 million.
European Union foreign ministers forged this agreement in Brussels yesterday.
Portugal’s head of diplomacy Augusto Santos Silva told journalists: “Yes, there was agreement by the foreign ministers to reinforce support in military equipment to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility”.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy actually tabled this proposal at an informal summit in Versailles last week. He has welcomed what he calls a “political agreement” – stressing it still needs to be “formalised”.
“Everyone is aware that we need to increase military support to Ukraine and put more pressure on Russia“, he told reporters.
Since the war started, millions of Ukrainians have had to flee their homes; hundreds have already lost their lives, while close to 3.5 million have already fled for temporary protection in mostly EU countries.
According to the United Nations, there are at least 13 million people in Ukraine in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
The Russian invasion has been condemned by the international community (with very few exceptions). Response beyond sending arms to Ukraine has been in strengthening economic and political sanctions against Moscow.