The European Union doubles the shipment of weapons to Ukraine

The European Union announced this Friday that it will double the amount allocated to buy military equipment in support of Ukraine, up to 1,000 million euros. The Twenty-seven have supported the proposal of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, to double military assistance to Ukraine with another 500 million euros of weapons, as reported by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

The European Union agreed two weeks ago allocate 450 million euros to the shipment of lethal weapons to Ukraine to help the population resist the Russian offensive, a support complemented by other 50 million for non-lethal material as medical material or fuel. With the war in Ukraine, the EU has for the first time activated its European Fund in Support of Peace.

The heads of state and government of the European Union held an informal summit in Versailles in which they discussed how to strengthen political and moral support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion, as well as ways to reduce the dependence on gas, coal and oil from Russia.

“We must strengthen military support for Ukraine”

Upon arrival at the second day of the summit, Borrell advanced that there are no differences between the countries of the European Union and that there will be an agreement to increase arms shipments to Ukraine. He has also indicated his confidence that this new aid arrives in Ukraine “immediately, because now everything flows very fast”.

“Everyone is fully aware that we have to increase our military support to Ukraine and add pressure on Russia,” said the head of community diplomacy.

For his part, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, has indicated in a press conference that the decision, which must still be formally approved by the EU, “allows us to go even further in this perspective”. The French president has stressed that “countries that until now had a position of neutrality, such as Sweden, have decided to participate in this support for Ukraine” and has assured that by May “we will need to have a European defense investment strategy.”

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has also stressed the importance of coordination with NATO, “the largest military alliance in the world”. “We must prepare a defense investment gap analysis,” she said.

Fourth package of sanctions against Russia

Von der Leyen has also announced that the European Union will decide on a fourth package of sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. “We are going to apply a fourth package of sanctions that will allow further isolate Russia from the world economy“, he indicated.

The President of the Commission stressed that “this fourth package of sanctions is our way of respond to the atrocities committed” in Ukraine by the Russian president. Von der Leyen has assured that “in just fifteen days of sanctions the Russian economy is in free fall” with the Russian sovereign debt considered by the rating agencies as “junk bond”, the lowest rung.

For his part, Macron has advanced that will speak by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putintogether with the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, “in a few hours” and has warned that there will be “massive sanctions” against Moscow if the invasion does not stop.

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The French president has stated that “we are ready to sanction more than has been done so far” and has avoided giving details about which sectors could be affected, since “strategic ambiguity favors us”, although he has stressed that “nothing is ruled out”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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