‘Urgent need’ to accelerate ammunition deliveries to Ukraine: EU

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European Union leaders stressed an “urgent need” to accelerate the delivery of ammunition and missiles to Ukraine on Thursday after unanimously agreeing to extend 50 billion euros ($54 billion) in new aid to Kyiv.

In a statement issued at an EU summit in Brussels, the leaders also said they were determined to continue providing timely, predictable and sustainable military support to Ukraine.

However, the statement stopped short of endorsing a call by some member states and the EU’s diplomatic service to inject 5billion euros for Ukraine aid – which would be separate to the 50 billion euros already agreed – into a broader military assistance fund, the European Peace Facility (EPF).

Germany has been calling for a major reform of the system to take account of EU members’ bilateral military aid to Ukraine.

Berlin has complained that while it has allocated some 8 billion euros for such aid this year, other countries are not doing enough.

The leaders’ statement called on EU governments to reach agreement on setting up a Ukraine Assistance Fund to help Kyiv with military aid by “early March 2024”.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has proposed setting up such a fund inside the EPF.

Earlier on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the leaders to establish the new fund and commit 5 billion euros a year to it for the next four years, calling such a move “a priority”.

He said “such reliability and long-term support” could help Ukraine respond to the challenges it faces. “5 billion euros per year for a term of 4 years. A clear priority,” he said on social media platform X.