European Union agrees to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers
The European Union agreed Monday to provide training to 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and assist the country in purchasing additional military equipment to help it defend against Russia's invasion.
Why it matters: The new training mission comes in response to Ukraine’s request for military support as the invasion nears eight months and Russia steps up its mobilization efforts.
What they're saying: "Today we step up our support to Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s illegal aggression," Josep Borrell, EU's foreign policy chief, said in a statement Monday.
- "The EU Military Assistance Mission will train the Ukrainian Armed Forces so they can continue their courageous fight. EUMAM is not just a training mission, it is clear proof that the EU will stand by Ukraine for as long as is needed," Borrell added.
The big picture: The "individual, collective and specialised" training mission, commanded by French Vice Adm. Hervé Bléjean, will be headquartered in Brussels but will operate in the territory of EU member states for at least two years with a budget of €107 million ($105 million).
- Separately, the EU approved €500 million ($491 million) from its European Peace Facility to help Ukraine purchase weapons, bringing the EU's total allocation to the country under the fund to €3.1 billion ($3 billion).
- The EU granted Ukraine candidate status in June, the first step toward full EU membership.
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