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US Senator's visit to Kyiv and €5 bln of EU military aid for Ukraine - Monday brief

US Senator's visit to Kyiv and €5 bln of EU military aid for Ukraine - Monday brief Collage by RBC-Ukraine

Yesterday, March 18, 2024, EU foreign ministers approved allocating €5 billion in military aid to Ukraine. And US Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, arrived in Kyiv for a visit.

RBC-Ukraine has gathered the main news for March 18.

Russia's war against Ukraine: Latest news

EU foreign ministers approve €5 billion for military aid to Ukraine

At the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, a final decision was made to allocate an additional 5 billion euros for military aid to Ukraine under the European Peace Fund, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"The meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, attended by the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, adopted a final decision to allocate an additional 5 billion euros for military support to Ukraine under the European Peace Fund. The minister expressed gratitude to his colleagues for this step," the ministry said.

During the meeting, Kuleba called on European partners to adopt all necessary decisions as quickly as possible to increase and accelerate the supply of weapons and ammunition to Ukrainian forces and develop the defense industries of the EU and Ukraine.

He also thanked Czechia for its timely initiative to purchase artillery ammunition for Ukraine, and all EU member states that have already made their contributions to its implementation.

"I call on those still considering contributions to make them as soon as possible. This applies not only to the Czech initiative but also to several other similar initiatives. Every day matters," the minister noted.

US Senator Lindsey Graham arrives in Kyiv

Yesterday, March 18, Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina arrived in Kyiv for a visit, according to the US Embassy in Ukraine.

According to the embassy, Senator Graham and the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States in Ukraine Robert Nield "held an important meeting" with President Zelenskyy, during which they discussed the situation on the battlefield and the role of American assistance in Ukraine's struggle against Russia.

The diplomatic mission emphasized that time is of the essence in providing assistance to Ukraine.

"The unwavering support of the United States is crucial for Ukraine's success in countering Russia's illegal full-scale war," the embassy wrote.

In turn, Shmyhal stated that he was assured of the steadfast support from the United States during the meeting with Graham. The parties discussed the urgent needs of the economy and the front line.

The Prime Minister noted that Ukraine's partners clearly understand that our country needs more support and weapons.

Zelenskyy on frontline situation, defense lines construction, and more

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy convened the Meeting of the Staff of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief yesterday, March 18, to discuss the situation on the frontlines, the construction of defensive fortifications, and more.

During the meeting, the president received detailed reports from the frontlines and listened to a briefing from the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), Oleksandr Syrskyi, regarding the main directions of active operations. Issues concerning:

  • expenditure and receipt of ammunition;
  • intelligence data;
  • the status of fulfilling concluded contracts and contracting for future periods, including procurement and production of equipment, weaponry, and ammunition was also addressed.

In particular, the president heard reports on the implementation of previous decisions of the meeting, namely:

  • concerning the protection of critical infrastructure objects such as energy, water, and gas supply;
  • regarding the continuation of defensive fortifications' construction, which is ongoing.

Belgium reportedly to deliver 300 LMV combat vehicles to Ukraine

Belgium is preparing a military aid package for Ukraine worth 412 million euros. It will include 300 LMV combat vehicles, reports Shephard Media.

It is noted that in addition to multi-purpose combat vehicles, Belgium plans to assist Ukraine with mine-clearing vehicles.

"The new military aid initiative, carried out together by Belgium and the Netherlands, has formed part of the BELEUX cooperation which has aimed to boost Ukraine’s military capabilities," the material states.

The material writes that Belgium will provide basic training, while the Netherlands will provide on-the-job training for Ukrainian mine vessel crews.

Belgium has also pledged to provide military assistance to Ukraine, totaling 611 million euros in 2024. It is reported that about half of this amount was allocated for additional artillery ammunition.

Frontline situation in Ukraine complex, NATO allies provide 99% of aid, Stoltenberg says

The situation on the battlefield in Ukraine continues to remain complex. NATO allies provide 99% of all military assistance, states NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze.

"Russia persists its pursuit of imperial ambitions. And in Ukraine, the situation on the battlefield remains difficult. So it is vital that we continue to step up our support.NATO Allies provide 99 percent of all military aid to Ukraine. And our partners also play a key role," the secretary-general noted.

He also mentioned that he welcomes Georgia's assistance in hosting thousands of Ukrainian refugees and providing significant humanitarian and financial aid to the country.