EU defence ministers to discuss Ukraine aid, arms industry

Brussels, May 28 (IANS/DPA) European Union defence ministers will meet in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss military aid to Ukraine, as well as efforts to strengthen Europe’s defence industry.

The EU has pledged $5.4 billion in military aid to Ukraine through an off-budget fund called the European Peace Facility. But payments are being held up by Hungary. Each EU member state has a veto.

“This delay can be measured in terms of human lives,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday after a meeting of EU foreign ministers. “We have agreed that the Hungarian contribution to the European Peace facility will not be used to supply military support to Ukraine.”

Ministers will discuss the battlefield situation in Ukraine. Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will also participate in the discussions.

Also on the agenda is a 1.5 billion euro plan set out by the European Commission in March to strengthen the EU’s armaments industry in order that it might be better equipped to defend itself and arm Ukraine.



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