While the G20 summit is currently taking place in Bali, the defense ministers of Germany and Spain announced on Tuesday (November 15th) their plans to train thousands of Ukrainian soldiers under the program of the European Union (EU) to help support kyiv's response to Russia. The European Union has in fact launched the largest military training mission in its history which aims to train and train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers in different Member States. 12,000 being soldiers and the remaining 3,000 specialized operators.
"In less than three months, this mission will be operational. This is record time for the Europeans", welcomed the head of European diplomacy, the Spaniard Josep Borrell, on his arrival for a meeting of ministers of the Defense of the EU in Brussels. On the content of the exercises, the staff of the Ukrainian army made very specific requests to the EU. The men will be trained in the field of mine clearance, anti-aircraft defense or even artillery.
Germany plans to train 5,000 soldiers in "a wide range of skills", announced German Minister Christine Lambrecht. His Spanish counterpart Margarita Robles said his country would train 400 Ukrainian soldiers every two months, or 2,400 a year, in Toledo. France announced in October the training of 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers on its territory. The main mission center will be located in Poland. The country, the first refuge for Ukrainians fleeing the war, will serve as a hub for the mission. A secondary headquarters will also be set up in Germany, although its exact location is not yet known. The mission is planned for an initial duration of two years and is expected to cost around 60 million euros (62 million dollars) per year.
It will be financed by the European Peace Facility (EFF), which is itself supplemented by contributions from member states, outside the common budget. A new influx of funds is under discussion, European sources said. European ministers must also examine the state of its finances on Tuesday. "3.1 of the 5.7 billion of its endowment for 7 years were mobilized for the supply of armaments to kyiv", recalled Josep Borrell.
The funds are used to reimburse member states for armaments taken from their stocks and supplied to Ukraine. The military support provided by the European Union to Ukraine is estimated at eight billion euros, between funding from the European Peace Facility and bilateral arms supplies, underlined Josep Borrell. This amount is equivalent to 45% of the assistance provided by the United States.
Ministers will discuss Ukraine's military needs with their Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov. He will speak by videoconference and take stock of the situation on the ground after the resumption of Kherson, in southern Ukraine. But the Europeans must quickly replenish their strategic stocks. “Aid to Ukraine drains a lot of resources and we must be able to regenerate them quickly, explained French Minister Sébastien Lecornu on his arrival in Brussels. This is the key to our strategic autonomy”.
The ministers will also study two operational scenarios for the European rapid intervention force of 5,000 soldiers. Responsible for carrying out interventions to evacuate European nationals caught in a conflict, the European force must be able to engage in combat missions and must be "fully operational in 2023", insisted Josep Borrell.