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EU leaders fail to set up special military support fund for Ukraine, but progress is being made

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EU leaders failed to make a decision on setting up a special fund for military support for Ukraine at an extraordinary summit on 1 February, but European Council President Charles Michel says “progress” has been made.

Source: conclusions following the summit, as reported by European Pravda

Details: In the section on military support for Ukraine, the European Council emphasised its commitment to continuing to provide Ukraine with “timely, predictable and sustainable military support” through the European Peace Facility, the work of the EU training mission for the Ukrainian military, and bilateral assistance.

No decision has yet been taken on the creation of a special €20 billion fund to support Ukraine under the European Peace Facility. The issue is due to be resolved by March.

The European Council proposed to increase the overall financial ceiling of the facility and invited the EU Council “to reach agreement by early March 2024 to amend Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/509 on the basis of the proposal of the High Representative for a Ukraine Assistance Fund and the proposed key modalities, taking into account suggestions by the Member States”.

At the same time, European Council President Charles Michel noted that “progress has been made” on this issue.

The leaders also agreed on the “urgent need” to speed up the supply of ammunition and missiles to Ukraine, particularly in the context of the pledge to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells.

To this end, the EU countries are being called upon to “explore all options” to meet Ukraine’s needs and accelerate these efforts.

For reference:

  • The plan to allocate €20 billion for the European Peace Facility was first officially announced in July. At the time, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell said that it could take the form of a four-year “special fund” (the Ukraine Assistance Fund) of €5 billion a year.

  • The EU already provides military assistance to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility (in particular, it reimburses member states for weapons provided to Ukraine), but it is provided through tranches that can be blocked by individual member states.

  • In an address to the European Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for the creation of a special fund.

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