Home VIDEOS EU defence ministers reaffirm strong commitment to long-term military support for Ukraine

EU defence ministers reaffirm strong commitment to long-term military support for Ukraine

At an informal ministerial meeting in Toledo, EU defence ministers reaffirmed their commitment to long-term military support for Ukraine and addressed the security situation in the Sahel.

by EUToday Correspondents
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EU defence ministers met informally at the Antigua Fábrica de Armas de Toledo, the meeting being chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov spoke via video conference to give an update on the situation on the ground.

The High Representative indicated that, during the meeting, the ministers reaffirmed the EU’s support for Ukraine in its defence against Russian military aggression, and discussed the next steps to continue helping the country and to achieve “solid and sustainable military support in the long term”, he explained at a press conference together with the acting Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles.

One of the priorities of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU is to maintain coordinated support for Ukraine and to do so by strengthening European unity.

Sustainable military support

To ensure the sustainability of assistance to Ukraine, the EU envisages creating an assistance fund for the country of up to €5 billion per year for the period 2024-2027, which would be integrated into the European Peace Facility.

The High Representative indicated that ministers had discussed the issue and hoped that an agreement could be concluded before the end of the year.

The status of the training mission of Ukrainian military personnel by the armed forces of the Member States was also assessed. According to Borrell, a total of 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers have already received training, and the goal of training 30,000 by the end of the year will be achieved earlier than planned, by the end of October.

The High Representative therefore proposed to ministers to raise the target to 40,000 trained Ukrainian military personnel in the coming months.

For her part, the acting Spanish Defence Minister for Defence referred to the Ukrainian soldiers receiving military training at the Infantry Academy in Toledo, who make up 80% of the over 3,000 who will be trained in Spain.

Robles reaffirmed Spain’s commitment to “continue supporting Ukraine and the values that Ukraine represents”.

“We must ensure that the substantial financial packages we approve not only help Ukraine, but also help create jobs by boosting Europe’s defence industry,” she asserted.

EU defence ministers


“Ukraine needs long-term and solid, sustainable military support, and this continued support from us is also essential for the counter-offensive,”

Josep Borrell High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Regarding the delivery of ammunition to Ukraine, Borrell explained that the ministers had discussed the plan in place to increase supplies.

“Over the summer, the European defence industry has been negotiating to supply a considerable amount of ammunition,” he explained.

EU defence ministers discuss situation in the Sahel

Borrell indicated that, during the meeting, the ministers once again expressed the EU’s alignment with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) vis-à-vis the coup in Niger.

In this regard, they expressed their support for this regional organisation in its response to the coup in Niger, while awaiting a more specific request for assistance to be able to study it and give their opinion on it.

“It is very clear that the coup in Niger has opened a new chapter of instability in an already fragile region and this will undermine the stability of the region,” highlighted Borrell.

“Ministers reiterated our willingness to seek an African solution to the African problem, and this means that we will support ECOWAS,” he added.

At the request of the high representative, the defence ministers discussed the advisability of adopting an “autonomous sanctions regime” to take measures against the coup plotters, an initiative that EU foreign ministers will continue to study this Thursday at their informal meeting.

The analysis of the rapidly evolving situation in Niger will continue at the informal foreign ministerial meeting, also to be held in Toledo.

In Mali, a neighbouring country to Niger, Spain has the largest contingent in the EUTM-Mali mission, with the objective of maintaining peace and security in the country and contributing to stabilising the strategic Sahel region.

Read also: Russians sanctioned over deportation of children during war against Ukraine

Story/Main Image: Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union



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