Euractiv: EU countries asked to boost by €3.5bn EU fund used to arm Ukraine
European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has proposed that EU countries add another EUR 3.5 billion to the European Peace Facility (EPF), used in particular to finance military assistance to Ukraine, Euractiv reports, citing sources.
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Sources say Mr Borrell has asked EU governments to raise the ceiling of the fund, which has already allocated about EUR 4.6 billion for military aid to Ukraine.
"He has just made a proposal," an EU diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying.
The EU chief diplomat’s proposal requires approval from the EU’s national governments. Last December, they agreed that such an increase could be justified "in case of need", Euractiv notes.
The EUR 5 billion-strong fund, established in 2021, was meant for the EU to help developing countries buy military equipment. However, it turned out to be useful in supplying Ukraine with weapons – by letting EU members claim back a portion of the cost of material given to Kyiv – since Russia’s full-scale invasion last February.
Consequently, the EPF burned through its coffers sooner than expected, and its financial ceiling was raised by EUR 2 billion last December.
In addition, the EU ministers finally approved the allocation of 1 billion euros for the purchase of missiles and 155 mm projectiles for Ukraine through the EPF earlier this month, futher questioning whether the funds will be enough long-term.
A senior EU official quoted by Euractiv said Mr Borrell had decided to ask for a boost as the fund was running low and the EU’s foreign policy service wanted to be sure the EPF had enough cash to finance military aid for other countries as well as Ukraine.
"We have to top up," they stressed.
"The gist of the European Peace Facility… has a universal character. It was not conceived by Ukraine. It was conceived for any conflict that the European Union could deal with."