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EU to Purchase and Deliver Weapons to Ukraine in Historic First

In addition to the centralized EU program, individual member states are taking their own steps to provide Ukraine with military aid and humanitarian assistance.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Photo: Celestino Arce/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The European Union will finance the purchase and delivery of $500 million worth weapons to Ukraine, marking the first time in the bloc’s history that it will send arms to a country under attack.

Why it matters: Longstanding policy taboos are falling across the EU because of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine. The new weapons program, which will be funded through the European Peace Facility, was announced Sunday alongside new sanctions on Russian aircraft, state media and the Belarus economy.

The latest: The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said during the Q&A portion of a press conference that member states will provide fighter jets to Ukraine, not just ammunition.

  • “[Ukrainian Foreign] Minister Kuleba has been asking us that they need the kind of fighter jets that the Ukrainian army is able to operate. And we know what kind of planes, and some member states have these kind of planes,” Borell said, in what’s likely a reference to Soviet-era jets possessed by Eastern European countries.
  • He did not immediately provide more details.

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