The European Union will announce next week that it is organizing a military training mission to Europe for thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and will provide around half a billion dollars more to help buy weapons for the war-torn country, diplomats and officials said Friday. .

The goal is to train nearly 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers in a number of EU countries, mainly Poland and Germany, officials said. It would range from standard military training to specialized education, based on Ukraine’s needs. The EU hopes to make it operational by mid-November.

EU foreign ministers will endorse the plans at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday. Officials and diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity to provide details before the plans were officially announced.

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Several EU and NATO nations are already contributing to the training of the Ukrainian armed forces on a bilateral basis, but diplomats said this would be more cost-effective and efficient, with a centralized command structure able to better meet the needs of the Ukrainian military. Ukraine, if done as a collective effort.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell talks about the recent escalation of the war in Ukraine to the European Parliament, October 5, 2022, in Strasbourg, eastern France.
(Photo AP / Jean-Francois Badias)

NATO began training military instructors in Ukraine after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014. The military alliance believes that training instructors is the most effective way to help the Ukrainian military as it does not require the necessary troops to the battle to leave the country.

At their meeting in Luxembourg, ministers will also approve a sixth tranche of money, worth some $ 500 million, from the European Peace Facility, a fund used to repay member countries that provide weapons, ammunition and non-lethal military support to the Ukraine.

It will bring the total EU amount in support of security made available to Ukraine to around 3.1 billion euros. Furthermore, individual countries are spending more.

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The decisions are expected to be announced nearly eight months after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell criticized the 27-nation bloc for being too slow to come to the aid of the country.

“We discussed the Ukrainian training mission before the war. Before the war. For months, for months before the war,” said Borrell, who will chair the meeting on Monday, at an EU ambassadors’ conference.

“Then comes the war and people said, ‘Oh, we should have done it.'”

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