The European Commission has paid an additional 1.5 billion euros in aid to Ukraine. It is the fourth disbursement within the framework of the instrument of macro-financial assistance for Ukraine, the total value of which is around 18 billion euros.
With it, the EU wants to help Ukraine cover its immediate needs with stable, predictable and large-scale financial support.
“Ukraine is bravely fighting against Russian aggression, and Europe continues to stand by it. Since the beginning of this year, we have already paid out 7.5 billion euros of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine. These funds contribute significantly to covering Ukraine’s immediate financial needs,” explained the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The European Commission’s new financial assistance worth 1.5 billion euros will be used primarily for the continued payment of salaries and pensions and the maintenance of basic public services such as hospitals, schools and housing for displaced persons.
It will also enable Ukraine to ensure macroeconomic stability and rebuild destroyed critical infrastructure, such as energy infrastructure, water systems, transport networks, roads and bridges, the European Commission said.
Since the start of the war, total support to Ukraine and its people has risen to around 70 billion euros. This includes financial, humanitarian and emergency support to Ukraine, as well as military support from the EU, Member States and European financial institutions, as well as funds available to help EU members meet the needs of Ukrainian refugees.
The Netherlands proposes to train Ukrainian pilots as soon as possible
After the US last week gave the green light to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, several Western allies are now finalizing plans to do so, the Dutch defense minister said Kajsa Ollongren.
Arriving at the meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels, she advocated for the training to start as soon as possible. “I am very happy that we got the green light from Washington to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets. This means that we can complete the plans to start training, which we are preparing together with Denmark,” she said.
In addition to the United States, Belgium and the United Kingdom are currently participating in this, Ollongren said. But she is convinced that other allies will join.
At the same time, the Dutch minister emphasized that they are currently focusing on preparations for pilot training, and not so much on the delivery of the planes themselves.
Discussions on the delivery of aircraft in the coming weeks
Deputy Minister of Defense of Denmark Troels Lund Poulsen however, he said that in the coming weeks there will be talks on the formation of a coalition for the supply of combat aircraft to Ukraine. According to him, Denmark wants to play a leading role in these talks.
Minister of Defense of Estonia and Germany, Hanna Pevkur and Boris Pistorius whose countries do not have F-16 aircraft, meanwhile, upon their arrival in Brussels, they explained that the possibilities for their countries’ participation in this coalition are limited. However, Pistorius assured that they will look into what options exist.
Further military support for Kiev is one of the central topics of today’s meeting of EU defense ministers, where they are also discussing the joint ordering of artillery ammunition for Ukraine.
High Foreign Policy Representative Josep Borrell already after Monday’s meeting of the foreign ministers of the member states, he called for the acceleration of arms deliveries. He also welcomed progress on the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine.