On 17 May, EU Defence Ministers discussed the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine with the participation of the NATO Deputy Secretary-General, Mircea Geoană, and the Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov. The latter informed ministers of the situation on the ground and the needs of the Ukrainian army that the EU continues to support.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell stressed the EU support was making a difference on the battlefield, and that the EU needed to sustain the effort and replenish Ukrainian resources and stockpiles.
“This support is critical because the war is at a turning point. We cannot let Ukraine run out of equipment. And we will not,” said Borrell. “The battle in the Donbass is at a moment in which the counteroffensive of the Ukrainians and [the] push [against] the Russians are having some extraordinary success – like the one the other day against a column of Russian tanks, shows that Ukrainians continue having an incredible capacity to resist and counterattack.”
Borrell announced that an additional tranche of €500 million under the European Peace Facility would soon bring to €2 billion the EU’s total military support to the Ukrainian armed forces since the start of Russia’s invasion.
Borrell also reported that, as of 17 May, the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine) had restarted its deployment in Kiev. The EUAM has also developed two additional work strands, related to supporting border management and investigation and prosecution of war crimes.
In addition, the EU, together with the United States and the United Kingdom, established the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group (ACA) to coordinate international resources supporting these investigations.
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