The EU Intends to Send Military Instructors to Ukraine
Brussels plans to make a significant qualitative leap in its policy of support for Ukraine. As the full-scale war with Russia has been going on for more than 500 days, the European External Action Service (EEAS) plans to step up efforts to strengthen Ukraine's air defence and co-finance advanced weapons systems by member states.
This is reported by EL PAÍS.
"Including missiles and combat aircraft," says an internal document of the European diplomatic service, to which the publication had access. The report analyses the formulas of "security compromises" that the EU can reach with Ukraine, which leaders proposed to consider at the last European Council in late June. The document also proposes to expand the European Training Mission for Ukrainian troops and personnel, currently based in Poland and Germany, in which a number of other partners are participating.
Just as the invitation to Ukraine to join NATO agreed by the allies in Vilnius was somewhat vague, making it conditional on "when circumstances permit", the EEAS uses the same term to propose sending military trainers to Ukraine.
The analysis of the EEAS, a department headed by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Defence Josep Borrell, coincides with the decision of the G-7 members, the world's most industrialised democracies along with the EU, to sign an agreement offering Ukraine "compromises and arrangements on security". A declaration that was also joined by the EU on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Vilnius and other non-G-7 countries such as Spain.
Now it is a question of complementing this joint declaration, in which Ukraine also commits to reforms, with bilateral agreements that aim to protect the invaded country and ensure that weapons continue to flow. The EEAS analyses what elements could be proposed in these "security commitments". And he notes: "Ukraine's membership of the EU would be a security commitment in itself".
"Ukraine will continue to need the EU's long-term commitment and support to ensure its free and democratic European future," the EEAS internal document says, "especially in a scenario where Russia is unlikely to give up its goal of subjugating Ukraine and Ukraine cannot stop defending itself.
Brussels stresses that this year's support in the form of equipment through the European Peace Facility (EPF) will exceed €4,000 million, and guarantees that there has been a "gradual change" towards the acquisition and joint procurement of new equipment. Furthermore, progress has been made in the supply of more sophisticated and expensive weapons systems by Member States, which the EU has subsequently covered through reimbursement systems (only partially).
Russia's war in Ukraine is also a logistical battle, and in the "security commitments", in addition to the ongoing exchange of (member state) intelligence and satellite imagery, Brussels also proposes cooperation such as "dedicated support for the maintenance and repair of donated equipment", support for demining, and cyber security support to combat hybrid threats, disinformation and interference, and the manipulation of foreign information.
"These commitments will be undertaken with full respect for the security and defence policies of individual Member States and with the security and defence interests of all Member States in mind," the EEAS internal document says, referring to neutral partners such as Ireland.
"The EU is already a major contributor to Ukraine's immediate and long-term security and resilience through military assistance, financial, commercial and economic support," the EEAS said, including in its analysis of possible commitments security measures already in place, such as financial support to Kyiv to keep the country afloat, and other elements such as hosting refugees and displaced persons.
Among the commitments that are already being implemented, Brussels allocates assistance for reconstruction, the EU accession process and the promotion of reforms, sanctions against Russia, support for accountability mechanisms and disclosure of information to third countries.
As reported by The Gaze, during the NATO summit in Vilnius on 12 July, the Group of Seven (G7) and NATO signed agreements on long-term security commitments to Ukraine.
It was also reported that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up the results of the last NATO summit. According to him, no one should have any doubts that Kyiv will join the Alliance in the future.