EU to train up to 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the EU’s decision to establish the training mission for Ukraine’s armed forces and told reporters in Brussels that it would complement what NATO countries already do…reports Asian Lite News

The European Union has ramped up its support to Ukraine by launching a military assistance mission for Ukrainian troops, more than eight months after Russia invaded Ukraine.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday that this mission is a direct response to Ukraine’s request for such support and said that “up to 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained in different European member states” as a part of the mission.

“It is going to be a big effort in order to renew, increase, improve the capacities of the Ukrainian army,” Borrell said, adding that it would be operational in less than three months.

The mission will be led by Frenchman Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, and EU defence ministers also agreed to allot a fund worth 16 million euros ($16.5m) under the European Peace Facility (EPF) – an EU financial instrument to prevent conflicts and build peace – to support the mission for 24 months.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the EU’s decision to establish the training mission for Ukraine’s armed forces and told reporters in Brussels that it would complement what NATO countries already do.

“But it is important we provide more training because Ukrainians are fighting a bloody battle which is very challenging,” he told reporters at an EU defence ministers meeting in Brussels.

Both France and Germany have repeatedly been criticised by Ukraine for not sending enough weapons. Nedelcu said this EU military training assistance mission with France and Germany playing a key role, is a way for them to make up for that criticism.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels before an EU defence ministers meeting, German defence minister Christine Lambrecht said that “up to 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers will be trained in Germany until June 2023, and a repair centre will be established in Slovakia.”

As the war grinds on with Russian missiles continuing to hit Ukraine’s key cities, EU foreign policy chief Borrell also highlighted that while the EU will continue supplying arms to Ukraine, it is also important for the bloc to think of its own arms stock and defence capabilities.

“European armies have to share, they have to be interoperable, they have to go together as much as possible to replenish their stocks,” he told reporters.

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