The Council of the European Union has launched an EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM), according to a statement by the Czech Republic, which currently holds the presidency of the body.
The mission will see the bloc provide training for some 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers as the military conflict between Moscow and Kiev continues.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Monday that the decision to launch the training program was agreed in “record time,” and said the mission would be operational “in a couple of weeks.”
Noting that Kiev’s forces had recently entered Kherson after the Russian withdrawal, the top diplomat stated that the EU’s decision to provide military aid to Ukraine was “a good one,” and that the bloc had to continue supporting the country.
Several EU countries, however, have already opted out of participating in the program. Hungary said it did not even vote for the establishment of EUMAM and would not send any trainers nor contribute financial resources towards its operating costs. Austria has also refused to take part in the mission, but has offered its support for the initiative.
The EUMAM training program is intended to last two years and a total of €107 million ($110 million) will be allocated for the initiative. Training will take place in Poland and Germany, according to Borrell, who noted that “there are a lot of countries willing to participate” in this mission.
The European Commission had previously stated that the mission would provide “individual, collective and specialized training to Ukraine’s Armed Forces, including to their Territorial Defense Forces.”
Moscow has consistently warned Western countries against providing military support to Kiev, with numerous Russian officials arguing that such assistance would only prolong the conflict and lead to unnecessary casualties.