EU sets out five main priorities in security and defence – Ukraine among them
May 29, 2024

EU sets out five main priorities in security and defence – Ukraine among them


On 29 May, the Council of the European Union approved conclusions on EU security and defence in a context of an unprecedented combination of threats and challenges, including Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov joined the Council from the battlefield to brief on the situation on the ground. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took part in a debate on military support.

In its conclusions, the Council set out five main priorities for the coming period that member states are called on to implement as a matter of urgency.

One of the priorities is support to Ukraine. “In order to continue providing Ukraine and its people with all the necessary political, financial, economic, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support for as long as it takes and as intensely as needed, the EU will use all tools at its disposal, including the recently established Ukraine Assistance Fund as part of the European Peace Facility (EPF) and training and advice through the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine),” the Council said in a press release, published yesterday.

Concerning the training mission, EUMAM Ukraine has already trained over 50,000 soldiers, and intends to train 60,000 by the end of the summer, Borrell announced to the press after the Council.  

“Ukraine needs more training. They are going to mobilise more soldiers, so they need more training. We have to adapt our training capacities and offers to the Ukrainians’ needs. We will soon define new training targets,” Borrell said. 

Borrell also said the EU Member states had addressed the possibility of lifting restrictions on Western weapons used by Ukrainian forces to target military objectives in Russia’s territory, as part of self-defence. 

“It is clear that this is a legitimate action under international law, when it is being used in a proportionate manner. But it is also clear that it is a decision for each individual Member State to take, and to take their responsibility in doing that or not,” Borrell said, adding that “Ukraine needs weapons now”.

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