The European Union (EU) will provide another €500 million in financial support to Ukraine’s military, bringing the total value of the bloc’s overall military fund for the country to €2 billion. The money is being provided via an EU fund for military assistance, called the European Peace Facility (EPF), and allows Ukraine to procure weapons and equipment for its fight against Russia’s invasion. A first package of €500 million was approved in late February and then topped up with two more packages worth the same amount. This fourth tranche of money brings the total support to €2 billion.
“I will announce that we as the European Union will provide a new tranche of €500 million to support Ukraine militarily,” European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters at a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) in Gut Weissenhaus, a luxurious seaside resort in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Borrell added that this would give “a new impetus for military support” for Ukraine.
On 22 March 2021, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision establishing the European Peace Facility (EPF). The EPF is an off-budget instrument aimed at enhancing the Union’s ability to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security, by enabling the financing of operational actions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) that have military or defence implications. It replaces and enlarge, starting 2021, the former financial instruments in this area, namely the Athena Mechanism and the African Peace Facility.
Borrell also expressed support for Finland and Sweden’s requests to join NATO and hoped the alliance would be able to overcome Turkey’s objection to the bids. The two countries will “receive strong support from all member states because it increases our unity and makes us stronger”. Sweden has signed a formal request to join NATO, a day after the country announced it would seek membership in the 30-member military alliance. Legislators in Finland have formally approved Finnish leaders’ decision to join as well.The moves ending Sweden’s more than 200 years of military non-alignment and Finland’s non-alignment after World War II, have provoked the ire of the Russian.