SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 21 June 2024, Friday |

EU’s Borrell, in Kyiv, says bloc will increase military aid

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Sunday the bloc would increase military support to Ukraine, after the U.S. Congress passed a stopgap funding bill late on Saturday that omitted aid to Ukraine.

Borrell told a news conference during a visit to Kyiv that in the face of an “existential threat for Europe,” the “proposition on the table” showed the EU wanted to increase military aid to Ukraine.

He was speaking after his first in-person meeting with Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov, who was appointed last month.

“Let’s see what will happen in the U.S., but from our side, we will continue supporting and increasing our support,” Borrell said, asked about the vote in Washington.

“Ukrainians are fighting with all their courage and capacities,” he said. If the EU wants them to be more successful, he added, “we have to provide them with better arms, and bigger”.

In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Borrell said the bloc was preparing “long-term security commitments for Ukraine”. He told the news conference he hoped member states would reach a decision on increasing aid “before the end of the year”.

Umerov, whose appointment by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was approved by parliament on Sept. 6, thanked Borrell in a statement on X for “continuous support” and said the meeting was “a starting point for great cooperation”.

He added their discussions of EU military aid covered “artillery & ammunition, air defense, EW (electronic warfare) & long-term assistance programs, trainings, and defence industry localization” in Ukraine.

This week the European Defence Agency said in response to questions from Reuters that seven EU countries had ordered ammunition under a procurement scheme to get urgently needed artillery shells to Ukraine and replenish depleted Western stocks.

 

    Source:
  • Reuters