EU council agrees on a 5 billion euro aid to Ukraine armed forces

By Thomson Reuters Mar 18, 2024 | 10:08 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European council on Monday ratified an agreement made last week by member countries to increase the European Union’s support to Ukrainian armed forces by 5 billion euros ($5.44 billion) through a dedicated assistance fund, the council said in a statement.

“With the fund, we will continue to support Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s war of aggression with whatever it takes and for as long as we need to,” EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

The European Union will use the money to fund the acquisition of both lethal and non-lethal military gears and training, the statement said.

The council also approved rules to make joint procurement of these from EU and Norwegian defence contractors.

With the 5 billion euros approved on Monday, the ceiling of the fund is now set at 17 billion euros for the 2021-2027 period.

Last week, the ambassadors of the EU’s 27 member countries had already agreed to overhaul the fund and add 5 billion euros in support to Ukrainian army.

($1 = 0.9184 euros)

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Editing by Charlotte Van Campenhout and Toby Chopra)