Germany trains up to 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers by end of year

Germany trains up to 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers by end of year

Germany plans to train up to 9,000 Ukrainian Armed Forces soldiers by the end of the year and provide weapons that will help Ukraine win.

Boris Pistorius, Minister of Defence of Germany, told journalists before a meeting with EU colleagues in Brussels on 23 April, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. 

"By the end of the year, up to 9,000 soldiers will be trained in Germany, which is the leading nation in the EU in training Ukrainian military," the minister said.

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Speaking about Germany's potential participation in a "fighter jet coalition", he called such opportunities "extremely limited". In particular, he sees no point in training pilots, as Germany does not have such competence, nor does it have aircraft of this class. Nevertheless, all potential options for Germany's involvement are currently being tested, "there are a couple that are theoretically possible," Pistorius added. 

He also noted that he sees no threat of escalation in the event of the delivery of F-16 fighters to Ukraine. The Western partners are ready to provide Ukraine with all possible and legal (not prohibited by international conventions) means that it needs to win this war and that the partners are able to provide, the politician said.

"Everything that helps, that we can provide, that is agreed between the helping nations, should happen," Pistorius said. 

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The minister recalled the €2.7 billion aid package recently announced by Berlin, which focuses on air defence, armoured vehicles and artillery. 

Every 4th euro in the European Peace Fund is German, the German government representative also noted. 

Pistorius admitted that he was "disappointed and somewhat irritated by the behaviour of our Hungarian partners" the day before at the meeting of EU foreign ministers, where Budapest blocked the next tranche of funding under the EFP. This, in his opinion, does not comply with the principle of European solidarity and prevents the reimbursement of what other states have already financed to support Ukraine.

"The fact that these countries cannot return their money is an indecent move," Pistorius commented on the Hungarian demarche.

The current meeting of EU defence ministers is the first since the launch of the ammunition initiative for Ukraine two months ago. It is planned to discuss the status of the initiative and further measures. Pistorius noted that only what is produced can be purchased, so now it is primarily a matter of setting up production, but also a technological process that takes time and cannot be accelerated. Meanwhile, the EU is already placing orders through its instruments, and Germany is also signing its own contracts. 

As reported earlier, the EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM-Ukraine) has already trained 15,000 Ukrainian servicemen, and the same number is planned to be trained by the end of the year.

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The day before, Hungary blocked the next tranche of funding for Ukraine from the European Peace Fund, demanding that Ukrainian sanctions against OTP Bank be lifted. The European Peace Fund is designed to finance military partnership programmes under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy.

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