Today at the informal meeting of European Union defence ministers in Prague, Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur expressed support for the European External Action Service proposal on creating a military training mission for Ukrainian armed forces.
“Estonia has contributed to training the Ukrainian armed forces for some time now and will continue to do so, therefore, we are prepared to participate in this mission as well. However, it is important that this mission would complement the weapons aid to Ukraine and go hand in hand with the already operational training activities,” said minister Pevkur.
The focus of the informal meeting of the EU defence ministers was on continuous aid to Ukraine and raising the Member States’ defence capabilities.
“Supporting Ukraine in a multitude of ways is and will remain a priority. We have to help Ukraine as long as it needs, as much as it needs and as fast as it needs. What’s important now is increasing and picking up the speed of providing military aid to Ukraine, as well as ensuring the European Peace Facility’s sustained and long-term support for Ukraine,” said minister Pevkur.
The European Peace Facility is an EU military aid instrument, which has already allocated 2.5 billion euros to maintaining Member States’ defence capabilities and to restoring military stocks that were provided in aid to Ukraine. Currently, decisions have been made on the distribution of the first 500 million euros, of which the European Union will reimburse 135 million euros to Estonia.
The defence ministers also discussed the European Commission’s proposal on supporting Member States’ joint procurements for restoring critical military supplies.
“The European Union can and should do more to support Member States’ investments into increasing defence capabilities. Member States have donated a considerable part of their supplies towards helping Ukraine. Now we need to direct extra efforts towards simultaneously continuing aid to Ukraine and maintaining the defence capabilities of Member States. In that, we expect speedy progress of the European Commission’s proposed new instrument in the European Council of ministers,” explained minister Pevkur.
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