EU preparing to establish a new military training base in Ukraine
A military training base of the European Union may soon be established in Ukraine, reports the German newspaper Welt, citing internal documents of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The base will provide military training for Ukrainian military personnel amid Russia's "ongoing escalation" on Ukrainian borders.
In August, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia had amassed a combat-ready military group of about 100,000 troops near Ukraine.
Welt noted that the Europeans started talking about a military mission in Ukraine amid escalating gas war. The gas prices in the European market have reached unprecedented levels after Russia reduced gas supplies to the EU.
According to Welt, at the end of July, the European Union approached Kyiv about the possibility to create the "EU Military Advisory and Training Mission in Ukraine" (EUATM), which will provide training for Ukrainian military. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell sent a classified letter to Ukrainian Foreign and Defense Ministers, Dmytro Kuleba and Andriy Taran.
Ukraine said it was facing a threat of a full-scale military invasion after in spring Russia deployed more than 300,000 troops near the Ukrainian borders, as well as to the annexed Crimea and the Donbas.
Then Russia did not resort to further escalation and started the withdrawal of troops. However, according to Ukrainian intelligence, there still remains a group of about 100 thousand troops near Ukrainian borders.
According to Welt, a number of EU countries not only supported the creation of a military base in Ukraine, but also insisted on it. Among them are Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Slovakia. Sweden and Finland also expressed support for this idea.
The EU is considering three more programs of military support for Ukraine. One of them is an expansion of an advisory mission on reforming Ukrainian defense sector. This mission has been working in Ukraine since 2014.