The European Union proposes to double the funding of military aid to Ukraine by another 500 million euros to help Kiev troops in the fight against the Russian invasion, the head of the bloc’s foreign policy said on Friday.
Josep Borrell said he was “certain” that EU leaders at a meeting in France would agree to expand the spending package that would allow blockchain weapons to travel to Ukraine.
The EU violated a long-standing ban last month by agreeing to pay for arms supplies to Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an offensive against its pro-Western neighbor.
The move is part of widespread pressure from Ukraine’s allies to send weapons in the face of Kiev’s desperate requests for more support to help it fight advancing Kremlin troops.
Officials say the new tranche of money will go to the EU countries, which will unilaterally send the required weapons to Kiev. Ukraine has called on its allies to provide air defense systems to prevent bombings in Russia, after calling on the West to reject the establishment of a no-fly zone.
EU leaders have called Moscow’s attack on Ukraine a call for Bloc 27 to focus more on strengthening its own defenses.
They are expected to commit “to increase defense costs” and strengthen cooperation on defense projects between Member States in talks with Paris.
“We must be determined to invest and excel in defense capabilities and new technologies,” said the draft version of the summit’s final statement, which AFP saw.
The collective security of the European Union is primarily driven by a US-led NATO alliance, but France, the EU’s largest military power, has called for a stronger bloc role.