EU to train more than 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers by the end of March
By the end of March, the EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM Ukraine) will train more than 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers, rising to 30,000 by the end of the year, EU High Representative Josep Borrell told a press conference after the EU Defence Council in Stockholm on 8 March.
According to Borrell, all Member States are satisfied with the results achieved by this training mission and are “committed to do more, especially when the battle tanks are arriving in Ukraine and the crews of these battle tanks have to be trained”.
Borrell also proposed to the EU Defence Ministers an approach based on three pillars that complement each other.
First, he proposed a new support package of €1 billion through the European Peace Facility (EPF). According to Borrell, this package would help reimburse the immediate delivery of ammunition, which must come from national stocks.
Secondly, Borrell said the EU needs to coordinate a common package of demands on industry to once again procure 155mm ammunition through the European Defence Agency. “The EU High Representative has proposed another €1 billion for this purpose.
The European Defence Agency (EDA), which was created by the Lisbon Treaty and is in charge of procuring this kind of thing – common procurement – has set out a project for this purpose and they can use a fast-track procedure to do it quicker. If we go together, we can reduce not only unit prices, but we can also reduce the delivery time,” said Borrell.
A third pillar suggested by Borrell involves increasing the capacity of the European defence industry to meet the huge demand of EU armies.
Borrell added that “there has been a general agreement on this procedure but there are pending questions”. At the same time, Ministers agreed “on the objective which is to support Ukraine, as much as possible and as quickly as possible”.