EU pledges $520m in Ukraine funds at G7 meetup

European Union’s foreign policy head says the funds would be allocated for the purchase of heavy weapons.

EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell.
EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell made the announcement at a G7 meeting in Weissenhaus [File: Yves Herman/Reuters]

The European Union has announced a package of another 500 million euros ($520m) for Ukraine to buy heavy weapons in its fight against Russia, the bloc’s foreign affairs chief has said at a gathering of Group of Seven nations in Germany.

“We [EU] will provide a new tranche of 500 more million euros to support the military of Ukraine. It will make about two billion euros in total,” Josep Borrell told reporters on Friday in Weissenhaus, on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast.

The funds would be allocated for the purchase of heavy weapons and take the EU’s total financial support for Ukraine to 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion), he added.

Top diplomats from Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the United States also are attending the meeting.

They plan to seek more ways to pile pressure on Russia through economic sanctions, isolating Moscow internationally and countering disinformation spread by Russia, Borrell said.

Oil embargo

EU diplomats are also scheduled to hold talks on Monday on a possible embargo on Russian oil.

Hungary has resisted the move because of its heavy dependence on Russian imports, but Borrell expressed optimism that there would be an agreement.

Hungary believes a ban would devastate its economy, and it would only agree to any sanctions if crude oil imports from Russia via pipeline were exempted from the sanctions.

“I am sure we will have an agreement – we need this agreement, and we will have it. Because we have to get rid of the oil dependency on Russia,” Borrell said.

“If there is no agreement at the level of the Ambassadors, on Monday, the Ministers, when they gather at the Foreign Affairs Council, they have to provide the political impetus. I will take very much care of that.”

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his counterpart from neighbouring Moldova, Nicu Popescu, were invited to attend the meeting as guests.

Meanwhile, France said the G7 was committed to helping Ukraine win its war against Russia.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the G7 countries were “very strongly united” in their will to “continue in the long term to support Ukraine’s fight for its sovereignty until Ukraine’s victory”.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said it was “very important” to keep up the pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin by supplying more weapons to Ukraine and increasing sanctions.

“G7 unity has been vital during this crisis,” she added.

About 3,500 police officers were deployed at the event site northeast of Hamburg to provide security.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies