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The European Union has approved a $5 billion increase in funding for a military aid program to support Ukraine.

The European Union has approved a $5 billion increase in funding for a military aid program to support Ukraine.

On Wednesday, EU member nations made a decision to allocate $5.48 billion in military aid for Ukraine as a part of a reform of the EU-operated aid program. This will give Kyiv necessary support as they face challenges in defending themselves against Russia’s attack.

EU ambassadors from 27 member nations have reached a consensus in Belgium to revamp the European Peace Facility (EPF) following lengthy discussions, in which major players France and Germany played a crucial role.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell declared on social media platform X that they will stand behind Ukraine and provide necessary support for their success. This statement comes after the recent decision.

The fund functions as a large-scale cashback program that provides refunds to EU members when they send weapons to other nations.

France, a major advocate for European defense enterprises, had emphasized the need for a robust “buy European” approach for arms that qualify for reimbursement. Some nations argued that this condition would impede efforts to obtain weapons from around the world in order to rapidly equip Ukraine.

Germany, the largest donor of military aid to Ukraine in Europe, has requested that these donations be considered when determining countries’ financial contributions to the fund.

According to diplomats, a solution was reached that provides more leniency in regards to “buy European” regulations and considers a portion of bilateral aid when determining financial contributions from members.

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, stated that this serves as another strong and timely example of European solidarity and resolve in attaining our shared victory. He expressed anticipation for the final decision to be confirmed at the upcoming meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.

The ultimate statement specifies that the plan should prioritize the European defense industry, with a possibility for flexibility in cases where it cannot meet the timeline compatible with the needs of Ukraine.

According to diplomats, the agreement will enable the fund to provide financial support to a Czech plan for purchasing a large number of artillery shells from non-European countries, addressing an urgent need for them.

According to the EU, the EPF has already distributed $6.7 billion in military aid to Ukraine.

Last year, Borrell suggested the establishment of a separate fund called the Ukraine Assistance Fund within the EPF, with a potential budget of $5.4 billion annually for the next four years.

This initiated a lengthy discussion about regulations for potential assistance, ultimately resulting in the agreement reached on Wednesday.

The agreement incorporates strategies to appease Hungary, who had previously prevented disbursements from the EPF and expressed reluctance in having their contributions fund weapons for Ukraine.

According to EU officials, the agreement states that their donations will go towards providing military assistance to other nations.

“Additional arms and equipment are necessary for Ukraine. We will ensure they are provided in suitable amounts and in a synchronized manner,” stated Hadja Lahbib, the foreign minister of Belgium, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU. “Europe remains faithful to its obligations. Our liberty is on the line.”