BRUSSELS: The Council of Europe has decided to provide Ukraine with funds within the framework of the European Fund for Peace. The money was allocated to strengthen the defense capabilities of Ukraine, the country’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Thursday.
“The EU Council decided to provide Ukraine with € 31 million to strengthen its defense capabilities within the framework of the European Peace Fund. We highly appreciate this step, which once again testified to the strategic nature of relations between Ukraine and the EU,” the minister wrote.
Kuleba specified that the financial package, in particular, will include the provision of material and technical assistance for the development and strengthening of the potential of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Such assistance, the minister added, will affect four areas – medicine, engineering capabilities and measures for mine clearance, mobility and logistics, and cyber security.
“It is expected that the implementation of these directions will begin in the near future,” the statement on the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry says. According to Kuleba, cooperation between Kiev and the European Peace Fund will be long-term.
In turn, the EU Council, in a published statement, confirmed that the Council adopted on Thursday a set of decisions establishing four assistance measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) in support of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the Republic of Mali.
These measures aim to strengthen the capacities of beneficiary countries in military and defence matters, with the aim of promoting domestic resilience and peace. For Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the EU also aims to enhance the capacity and interoperability of local armed forces to contribute to Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) military missions and operations. The measures are in response to requests sent to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy by the countries involved.
All assistance will be subject to compliance with relevant international law, in particular international human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as with relevant legal instruments and best practices based on international and EU rules, standards and policies regarding the supply of equipment to armed forces. None of the measures involve the supply of equipment designed to deliver lethal force.
Georgia: This assistance measure will help strengthen the capacities of the Georgian Defence Forces, including their ability to provide their services to civilians in crises or emergency situations.
In particular, it will provide non-lethal medical and engineering equipment and civilian-type mobility assets.
This measure is worth €12.75 million over a period of 36 months.
Republic of Moldova: This assistance measure will help build the capacities of the Military Medical Service and the Engineer-ing Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova, including their ability to provide their respective services to civilians in crises or emergency situations.
In particular, the EU will finance the provision of medical equipment for the Military Medical Service, and of explosive ordnance disposal equipment for the Engineering Battalion. This measure is worth €7 million over a period of 36 months.
Mali: In conjunction with the EU Training Mission in Mali, this assistance measure will help strengthen the capacities of the Malian Armed Forces to enable them to conduct military operations aimed at restoring Malian territorial integrity and reduce the threat posed by terrorist g-roups. This should contri-bute to an enhanced presen-ce of state services in rem-ote areas and lead to better protection of civilians.
The EU will further professionalise the Malian Armed Forces in three main areas: supporting the Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in Banankoro; renovating the training infrastructure in Sévaré Mopti; and providing equipment to supported units of the Malian Armed Forces.
The EU follows closely the political situation in Mali and stands closely with the Malian people in promoting peace and stability in the country.
The EU intends to continue its cooperation with the country, in particular when it comes to the provision of security to civilians. The measure is worth €24 million over a period of 30 months.
The assistance measure will be carefully assessed and could be suspended if conditions for its good implementation are not met.
The European Peace Facility was established in March 2021 to finance EU external actions with military or defence implications, with the aim of preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability. In particular, the EPF allows the EU to finance actions designed to strengthen the capacities of third states and regional and international organisations as regards military and defence matters.
The Council has already adopted three assistance measures under the European Peace Facility: a €130-million measure to support the African Union in July, and measures to support Bosnia and Herzeg-ovina and Mozambique worth €10 million and €40 million respectively, in November 2021.