Government agrees with EU move to double funding to support Ukraine military

  • Lusa
  • 22 March 2022

"There was agreement by the foreign ministers to reinforce support in military equipment to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility," Minister Augusto Santos Silva told journalists on Monday.

European Union foreign ministers have reached a political agreement in Brussels to double funding for military support to Ukraine with an additional €500 million, thus setting it at 1 billion.

“Yes, there was agreement by the foreign ministers to reinforce support in military equipment to Ukraine through the European Peace Facility,” Minister Augusto Santos Silva told journalists at the end of the Council.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, who had put the proposal on the table during the informal summit held on March 10 and 11 in Versailles, France, also welcomed the “political agreement” reached on Monday, pointing out that the decision would still have to be formalised.

On the occasion of the presentation of the proposal for “an additional €500 million contribution to military support to Ukraine” through the European Peace Facility, thus bringing to €1 billion EU funding for arms procurement and supply to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces to fight the Russian invasion, Borrell stressed that “everyone is aware that we need to increase military support to Ukraine and put more pressure on Russia”.

On 27 February, the fourth day of the military operation launched by Russia in Ukraine, the EU approved the unprecedented decision to finance arms supplies to a third country, approving a package of 450 million for the purchase of lethal weapons, plus 50 million for non-lethal material, namely fuel and protective equipment.

At the time, Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho estimated that the Portuguese contribution to this first package of 500 million was around “8 to 10 million euros”.

On 24 February, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine that caused at least 925 deaths and 1,496 wounded among the civilian population, including more than 170 children, and caused the flight of another 10 million people, including 3.48 million to neighbouring countries, according to the latest UN figures.

According to the UN, some 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.

The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions against Moscow.