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European Union To Launch Training Mission For Ukrainian Soldiers Amid War


European Union launches training mission for Ukrainian soldiers during the war

Ukraine’s neighbor Poland will serve as the main hub for the training mission. (File)

Luxembourgish:

The European Union (EU) will increase military support for Ukraine on Monday by launching a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers and provide an additional 500 million euros in weapons.

Foreign ministers from the bloc’s 27 member states are expected to sign the decisions at a meeting in Luxembourg, and diplomats say the mission will be operational next month.

“This is an important first for the EU,” said one European diplomat. “We’ve never done a training mission in that range.”

After nearly eight months of war, Ukraine’s forces are making progress on the battlefield and Kyiv’s western supporters are keen to make sure their troops are capable enough to keep fighting.

Several EU countries – including Germany and France – have trained Ukrainians in the use of modern artillery systems, missile launchers and air defense systems that they are supplying to Kyiv.

But the EU has lagged behind in providing large-scale training to help its military confront Russia’s invading forces.

The United States, Canada and Britain have been training thousands of troops.

London is aiming to train 10,000 people this year and will more than double next year.

The final details of the European training tour are still being finalized.

But an official said the initial plan was to provide basic training for 12,000 soldiers and specialized instruction for another 2,800.

Ukraine’s neighbor Poland will serve as the main hub for the mission.

“It is the way out for the Ukrainians and the way back,” said one European diplomat.

Germany is also set to become a key training center.

Programs currently run by individual member states will continue and may be incorporated in the EU mission later.

“Everyone in the EU will do what they can in accordance with the needs of the Ukrainian people,” the diplomat said.

The diplomat said a budget of around 60 million euros a year was projected.

The exact amount will be agreed on Monday, along with a new central funding of 500 million euros ($486 million) to help cover the cost of weapons being sent to Ukraine.

Iran’s drones

That new money would bring the total contribution to arms from the EU’s central coffers to 3 billion euros. Member states have also spent more out of their own pockets.

“The budget for seven years has been spent in seven months, so come on, we really have business intentions,” said an EU official.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will speak to his EU counterparts by video link and is expected to repeat calls for more weapons, increased financial aid and tough sanctions. than for Moscow.

EU ministers will discuss Moscow’s use of Iranian-made drones to strike targets in Ukraine, but no sanctions are expected over the matter.

Tehran denies supplying weapons to Russia “for use in the war in Ukraine”.

Brussels said it was conducting an investigation into possible violations of the UN resolution.

An EU official said: “If we finally get our own independent assessment of this transfer, then of course we will.

However, ministers will take action against Iran on Monday in connection with the suppression of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini that have rocked the country.

About 15 officials and organizations, including the head of Iran’s ethics police, are expected to be blacklisted for visa bans and asset freezes, EU diplomats said.

The EU, which is currently mediating stalled efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, has gone behind Washington in imposing sanctions on Tehran.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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