The US and the European Union announced more military aid to Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen fire an M777 artillery piece at a frontline position against Russia in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine. August 1, 2022. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova (Stringer/)

The United States announced on Monday a new batch of US$350 million military aid to Ukraine, including ammunition for Himars rocket launchers and Bradley armored fighting vehicles. For their part, the countries of the European Union (EU) agreed today to invest 2,000 million euros in the delivery to Ukraine of 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition over 12 months, reported the senior community representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.

“Russia alone could end its war today. Until Russia does so, we will remain united with Ukraine for as long as necessary,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

US aid comes from funds already provided by the US Congress. Also includes ammunition for howitzers, anti-tank weapons, and Harm missiles.

“As the unconscionable continues Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine At great human cost, we are reminded once again of the boundless courage and steadfast determination of the Ukrainian people, and the strong support for Ukraine throughout the international community,” Blinken said.

Xi has traveled to Moscow to discuss a Chinese proposal to stop the war that has been viewed with suspicion by Washington as validating Russian territorial gains.

For its part, the EU’s political agreement on the “three-track” plan proposed by Borrell based on an initial idea from Estonia consists of countries handing over all 155 caliber ammunition that they can to kyiv as soon as possible, under the premise that they will be quickly replenished with new joint orders to the industry.

Ukrainian soldiers from the 80th Paratroopers brigade take cover while firing a mortar shell at a frontline position near Bakhmut, during Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, March 16, 2023. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura
Ukrainian soldiers from the 80th Paratroopers brigade take cover while firing a mortar shell at a frontline position near Bakhmut, during Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, March 16, 2023. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura (VIOLETA SANTOS MOURA/)

“A historic decision. As a result of my proposal, the Member States agreed to deliver 1 million cartridges of artillery ammunition in the next 12 months,” Borrell reported via Twitter during a Council meeting that brings together the Union’s Foreign and Defense ministers. .

The EU will finance with 1,000 million euros the immediate delivery and, with another 1,000 million more, joint acquisitions.

“Ukrainian soldiers are showing great courage and tenacity. But they need ammunition, ”said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, through the same social network, who welcomed the political agreement of the Twenty-seven.

Borrell added that the Commission will work with Member States “toincrease defense industrial production in the EU in order to meet this objective”.

The plan supported today in the EU has three paths and the first of them proposes to deliver to Ukraine as soon as possible the ammunition reserves, mainly 155 mm, that the community countries already have or that they have already ordered from the industry. That ammunition can be Western or Soviet type.

For it, 1,000 million euros will be used from the European Peace Support Fund (FEAP).

The FEAP is a program that, outside the community budget and made up of contributions from the Member States, is being used to finance the delivery of arms to kyiv.

Those 1,000 million from the fund will allow countries to be reimbursed between 50 and 60% of the cost of the ammunition that they deliver to Ukraine in an accelerated manner.

To ensure that Ukraine can continue to be supported and to guarantee EU countries that their arsenals will be replenished, the second track of the plan contemplates that the European Defense Agency (EDA) make joint purchases of ammunition or that at least three Member States associate to carry out such purchases.

For this second track, another 1 billion euros of the FEAP will be used, which would only be used for reimbursements of ammunition sent to Ukraine and not for ammunition that remains in the reserves of the Member States.

Furthermore, in order for money spent on joint procurement to be reimbursed, those ammunition purchases must be made from European and Norwegian companies.

(With information from AFP and EFE)

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