EU Nations Commit 5 Billion Euros to Ukraine Aid via EPF Overhaul

In a significant development for European defense collaboration, the European Union has agreed to bolster military support for Ukraine with an additional 5 billion euros. This move, announced on Wednesday by the Belgian EU presidency, is part of a comprehensive overhaul of the European Peace Facility (EPF) fund.

After extensive negotiations that saw major EU players such as France and Germany at the heart of discussions, envoys from the EU’s 27 member countries reached a consensus in Brussels. The EPF, which functions like a large-scale reimbursement program, compensates EU members for supplying munitions to other nations.

France had been advocating for a robust “buy European” policy concerning arms eligible for refunds. Meanwhile, Germany had been pushing for the consideration of bilateral aid in calculating each country’s contribution to the fund. A diplomatic compromise now allows for some leeway in the “buy European” rules and acknowledges a portion of bilateral aid in determining financial contributions.

This agreement paves the way for the EPF to finance initiatives such as the Czech Republic’s plan to procure hundreds of thousands of urgently needed artillery shells, even from non-European sources.

The EPF has already allocated approximately 6.1 billion euros for military aid to Ukraine. Furthermore, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, had proposed last year to establish a dedicated Ukraine Assistance Fund within the EPF. This fund would potentially have an annual budget of up to 5 billion euros for the next four years, specifically earmarked for aid to Kyiv.

The prolonged debate over the regulations governing future assistance culminated in Wednesday’s accord, marking a significant step forward in the EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine amidst ongoing conflicts. The decision underscores the bloc’s unity in addressing security challenges and supporting allies in times of need.

military aid

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