In the certain Western mass media, speculative assumptions have appeared on the EU and NATO allegedly expressing concern over the risk of smuggling the weapons supplied to Ukraine by Western partners in order to allow Ukraine to exercise its right to self-defense amid the Russian armed aggression.
As the information policy of the EU and NATO does not provide for commenting on such assumptions and speculations in the mass media or in the statements made by third parties, Ukrinform directly appealed to the EU and NATO with a request to kindly tell us how reliable is their control over the use of weapons and other military equipment supplied to Ukraine, and if they have any reasons for concern about the further use of such weapons.
At the moment, we have received an answer from EU Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano.
EU SUPPLIES WEAPONS BASED ON THE NEEDS AND FOR THE USE BY UKRAINE ARMY
- Before the war there in Ukraine, with the assistance of US and EU official bodies, was introduced a strict system of export control. According to your assessment, is this system intact now?
- Ukraine is currently fighting a hostile, unjustified and unprovoked aggression by Russia and needs weapons to defend its people. The EU is financing weapons supplies based on the needs of the Ukrainian army and for the use by the Ukrainian Army.
We have set up mechanisms to monitor and control that equipment provided by EU Member States is used for its intended purposes. Our assistance is subject to strict controls and safeguards, including after it has been delivered. This includes monitoring that their use is in line with international human rights and international humanitarian law as well as possible regular reporting and/or on the spot controls of the status of the equipment, if required and when conditions allow it.
TRACEABILITY OF EQUIPMENT ENSURED THROUGHOUT DELIVERY PROCESS AND AFTER
- Do the Ukrainian State bodies, as defense and security ones, report back to supplying foreign partners and to the EU on the use and tracking of the weapons supplied?
- Traceability of equipment provided under the European Peace Facility assistance is ensured throughout the delivery process and after. This is being done in cooperation with the Ukrainian Armed Forces now and in the long run. Ukraine committed to neither transfer the items to other use than its own armed forces recognised by the EU, nor re-export them to other countries.
EU HAS NO REASON NOT TO TRUST THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT
- Do NATO and the EU have any reason not to trust the Ukrainian Government in handling the Western weaponry which had been supplied to Ukraine?
- We can reply only on behalf of the EU, not the NATO, and the answer is simple no. We have no reason not to trust the Ukrainian Government which is leading a fight to defend the country and the Ukrainian people against a brutal aggressor.
WESTERN MILITARY ASSISTANCE FOR UKRAINE AS TRANSPARENT AS POSSIBLE UNDER CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES
- Could it be more transparency introduced on the substance of the western military assistance for Ukraine and on the routes of its transportation or supply?
- There is as much transparency as possible under the current circumstances. Let’s not forget that the weapons deliveries to Ukraine are a potential target of hostile action by the Russian aggressor. But the relevant information about the nature of the EU-funded deliveries is in the Council Decisions. For obvious reasons we do not comment on operational details concerning delivery of equipment.
RUSSIA MASSIVELY SPREADS LIES TO JUSTIFY ARMED AGRESSION AGAINST UKRAINE AND DISRUPT MILITARY ASSISTANCE
- How active Russian propaganda is in an attempt to disrupt EU and NATO Allies’ military assistance for Ukraine, and what is the reason for a certain intensification of such propaganda nowadays?
- We cannot talk for the NATO, but from EU’s point of view, the Russian propaganda and disinformation attempts are massive and very frequent. Basically anything that comes out of the Kremlin and from the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, is a massive propaganda and very often simply lies. Parallel to the armed aggression against Ukraine, Russia launched intense disinformation campaigns aimed against Ukraine, the EU and the NATO, trying to justify their illegitimate attack on Ukraine and confuse the public opinion worldwide and manipulate facts all along.
Dmytro Shkurko, Brussels