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EU Approves 5 Billion Euro Boost for Ukraine Military Fund

In Brussels, EU member states have agreed to inject €5 billion ($5.5 billion) into a central fund dedicated to providing weapons support to Ukraine. This significant decision comes at a critical juncture as Ukraine's other major ally, the United States, exhibits wavering support, while its forces face significant challenges in repelling Russian aggression.

The agreement was facilitated during Belgium's tenure as the EU's rotating presidency. Ambassadors representing the bloc's 27 nations reached a consensus "in principle" to allocate the funds to support arms supplies to Kyiv in 2024.

Following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the European Union undertook a historic move to finance weapons deliveries to a country engaged in conflict. Since then, approximately €6.1 billion from the central European Peace Facility has been committed primarily to reimburse member states for arms sent to Ukraine.

However, efforts to bolster the EU fund by an additional €5 billion faced obstacles, notably from Germany and France. Germany sought to offset its bilateral support for Ukraine against its contribution to the fund, while France advocated for prioritizing purchases from European defense firms.

A compromise was eventually reached, allowing Germany to offset a percentage of its bilateral support against the fund. France secured a commitment that member states would prioritize purchases from European defense firms, with the option to seek supplies outside the EU if certain items were unavailable.

Despite ongoing ammunition shortages and the US's announcement of a $300 million weapons package for Ukraine, further funding remains stalled in the US Congress. Concerns have emerged in Europe about the implications of insufficient support for Kyiv, potentially leading to its defeat and emboldening further Russian aggression.

Efforts to boost Europe's defense industry and support Ukraine will be discussed at an upcoming EU summit in Brussels. However, the EU acknowledges its struggle to meet prior commitments, such as supplying Ukraine with a million artillery shells by this month.

Meanwhile, Russia has intensified its arms production, receiving significant deliveries from Iran and North Korea. The situation underscores the urgency for the EU to bolster Ukraine's defense capabilities and strengthen its own defense industry to counter future threats.

March 14, 2024 1:57 p.m. 6700

#breakingnews #worldnews #headlines #topstories #globalUpdate #dxbnewsnetwork #dxbnews #dxbdnn #dxbnewsnetworkdnn #EU #Ukraine #MilitaryAid #Belgium #USsupport #RussianAggression #DefenseIndustry #EUsummit #EuropeanUnion #PeaceFacility #WeaponsSupply #Germany #France #DefenseFirms

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