Luxembourg, June 26 (EFE).- The European Union agreed on Monday to increase by another 3.5 billion euros ($3.81 billion) a military aid fund used to send weapons and ammunition to Ukraine.
With this latest increase, the European Peace Facility (EPF) now has a financial ceiling of 12 billion euros.
This is the second time the EU has decided to boost the EPF since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.
The fund, established in 2021, aims to finance the military capabilities of non-EU countries.
Out of the initial 5.5 billion euros allocated to the fund, the EU has already used 3.6 billion to co-finance the delivery of weapons to Ukraine.
Additionally, the EPF, which operates outside of the EU budget, has been used to provide financial support to Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Mozambique, Somalia, Niger, Mauritania, Lebanon, and Jordan, with 92 percent of the total already utilized in 2023.
“We are formally adopting today our 2nd EPF top-up worth €3.5 billion,” EU top diplomat Josep Borrell tweeted. “We will continue to double down on our military support on both equipment & training. For as long as it takes.”
He said the decision to increase the fund would ensure once again “that we have the funds to continue providing concrete military support to our partners.”
However, a move to disburse a new tranche of 500 million euros from the EPF to finance the shipment of weapons to Ukraine remains hurdled as Hungary had blocked the move.
Hungary has exercised its veto power and threatened to maintain it until Ukraine removes the Hungarian OTP Bank from its list of companies it considers promoters of the war.
Borrell said it was “more important than ever to continue supporting Ukraine.”
“What has happened during this weekend shows that the war against Ukraine is cracking Russian power and affecting its political system,” he said, referring to ab aborted mutiny by Russia’s private mercenary group Wagner.
“We are certainly following closely what is happening, but now is the moment to continue supporting Ukraine more than ever, and that is what we will do.”
He said it was important to understand the insurrection by Wagner, which was at the forefront of Russia’s war in Ukraine, had shaken Moscow’s military power and affected its political system.
“And certainly, it is not a good thing to see that a nuclear power like Russia can go into a phase of political instability. It is also something that has to be taken into account.” EFE