27th Nov 2022

Borrell wants 'powerful training' mission for Ukraine army

Listen to article

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell is seeking a "powerful training and organisation mission" to help the Ukrainian army.

The proposal announced Monday (22 August) in Madrid is set to discussed among EU defence ministers in Prague next week.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"I don't quite understand why we send training missions to the Mozambican army and not to the Ukrainian army," said Borrell.

He said the EU already has 17 such missions around the world and in places like Chad, Niger and until recently, Mali.

Borrell said any such training mission would not take place in Ukrainian territory, but rather in neighbouring countries.

Ukrainian soldiers are, for instance, already being trained in the Czech Republic, France, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Denmark had also announced plans earlier this month to help train Ukrainian soldiers in the UK.

But Borrell said the EU-led mission was needed because Europe is facing "a large-scale war" involving hundreds of thousands of soldiers.

"Therefore, any mission has to be equal to the conflict. This is not a 'little war', as someone has said," he said.

Member states will still have to approve the idea.

A similar EU proposal was floated last year to train Ukrainian officers in light of the tensions with Russia and its military buildup along the borders with Ukraine, according to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

That proposal was drafted by the EU defence ministers, reported the paper at the time.

The EU has so far contributed some €2.5bn for Ukraine's military needs through its so-called European Peace Facility.

The facility was set up as an off-budget item with a €5.7bn ceiling.

It was also created because EU rules prevent countries from using its seven-year budget for military operations.

EU plans to jointly invest in defence capabilities

EU countries need to refill stockpiles after several member states supplied weapons to Ukraine in its fight with Russia, and to phase out existing Soviet-era weapons systems, and reinforce air defence.


How the gas lobby is fuelling the cost-of-living crisis

An investigation by COE reveals oil and gas lobbyists have enjoyed unprecedented access to EU decision-making. As a result, a series of critical decisions on tax, energy-infrastructure, and regulation put fossil-fuel industry profits above millions at risk of energy poverty.

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  2. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  3. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  4. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  5. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'
  6. EU Commission to keep Hungary's EU funds in limbo
  7. 'No substance' price ceiling for gas leaves everyone disgruntled
  8. Paying consumers who save most energy could tame gas prices

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us