Berlin is seeking to reduce the amount it gives to the European Peace Facility (EPF), used to bankroll the Ukrainian war FILE PHOTO. Ukrainian soldiers with a German-made Leopard 1A5 main battle tank. © Getty Images / PA / Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert
Germany is seeking to reduce its share in the so-called European Peace Facility (EPF), a €20 billion EU fund, which the bloc has been using almost exclusively to prop up Kiev in the ongoing conflict with Moscow, The Telegraph reported on Friday.
According to a confidential non-binding paper obtained by the newspaper, Berlin argues that the EPF must consider the lavish military aid Germany provided to Ukraine on its own.
“Military support for Ukraine can be provided either through financial contributions to the Ukraine envelope in the EPF or as direct deliveries of military equipment to Ukraine,” Germany argued, adding that “in kind contributions” must be “fully credited against a member state’s agreed contributions to the Ukraine envelope.”
Germany, which remains the largest economy in the bloc, contributes around a quarter to the EU’s war chest, The Telegraph noted. Should the country move forward with its apparent intent to reimburse the aid it had sent to Kiev from the fund, the EPF would be destined to get thinned out. Last month, Berlin pledged to double its military aid to Kiev next year, signing off a major €8 billion package.
Thus far, the EPF war chest has provided some €4.5 billion worth of military hardware and equipment to Kiev, as well as mustered around 34,000 Ukrainian service members. The fund was established shortly before the hostilities between Moscow and Kiev broke out, with a proclaimed goal to reimburse the bloc’s members to send arms and equipment overseas and finance foreign militaries directly. However, the EPF has been used almost exclusively to pump Ukraine with weaponry.
According to The Telegraph, the use of war chests has also been criticized by another major EU country – France. In a separate confidential document the newspaper had obtained, Paris argued that the EPF should halt the flow of weapons from member states’ stockpiles to foreign militaries and focus its effort on “common procurement” of military hardware from European arms manufacturers instead.
Thus far, only Hungary has been openly critical of the EPF and its use to prop up Kiev, repeatedly blocking attempts to allocate additional money from the war chest to Ukraine. Budapest has cited Kiev’s hostile actions against the country, such as designating one of its major banks a “war sponsor,” as well as criticized the EU’s position, arguing that the bloc’s commitment to arming Ukraine has made it unable to broker peace. (RT)