Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, has confirmed that Ireland has now contributed €55 million to assist Ukrainian soldiers in their conflict with Russia.
The Minister was responding to a series of parliamentary questions on the matter in the Dáil, where TDs sought the most up-to-date position in relation to the provision of military aid to Ukraine to assist its efforts in defeating the illegal Russian invasion.
In response, Minister Coveney said that EU member states agreed to launch work to define the parameters of a possible EU military Common Security and Defence Policy, CSDP, mission to provide training to Ukraine.
The Minister stated that “Ireland is supportive of the proposed mission and sees the rationale in the EU co-ordinating bilateral training efforts that are already taking place and providing a platform to co-ordinate longer-term training in response to Ukrainian needs.”
He insisted however that while Ireland is open to participation in the mission, “a decision on whether to do so will only be taken on this once work on the proposal has been finalised. The training mission will take place outside Ukraine in one or more EU member states, given the active conflict underway within Ukrainian territory.”
In terms of specific funding provided to assist Ukraine, Minister Coveney said the war on Ukraine has seen the mobilisation of the European Peace Facility, EPF and to date, the European Union has agreed five tranches of support, amounting to €2.5 billion in military assistance for Ukraine under the EPF. The agreed support consists of €2.33 billion for lethal equipment and €170 million for non-lethal equipment, such as personal protective equipment, medical kits and fuel.”
“Ireland has contributed €55 million to those efforts and every time €500 million is announced in a tranche, we contribute €11 million.”
“We are playing our full part in monetary terms but we limit our financial contribution to the purchase of non-lethal equipment, such as protective equipment, helmets, fuel, winter uniforms, blankets and medical assistance – the things that soldiers need to sustain themselves.”
“We have a very clear commitment in our programme for Government that we will support the EPF but not lethal weapons and equipment, which we do not have a lot of anyway compared with many countries.”