The EU Foreign Affairs Council has approved €500m under the European Peace Facility (EPF) to provide military assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The latest allocation is the fifth tranche of aid to the crisis-hit nation.

In a statement, European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy high representative Josep Borrell said: “Ministers unanimously agreed on the need to continue to stand firmly with Ukraine and lend it all our support in its fight for freedom and independence.

“Ukraine needs more arms, we will provide them. That is why I have proposed the next tranche of the European Peace Facility, allocating €500m more. There has been political agreement on this proposal today.”

European Council President Charles Michel said the bloc has so far committed €2.5bn to deliver military equipment to Ukraine.

Since the onset of the Russian invasion in Ukraine in February, the EU has imposed six packages of sanctions on Moscow. This includes the latest sanction to ban 90% of Russian oil supplies by the end of this year.

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By GlobalData

US Defense Secretary Lloyd J Austin III said the strategic access granted by Greece to US military forces at the Port of Alexandroupolis has ensured continued support for Ukraine.

Austin held a meeting with Greek Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and also discussed the need for defence modernisation amid Russia’s aggression.

He said: “The updated US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement reflects our nations’ unshakeable commitment to shared peace and security.

“And it has enabled the expansion of US forces in Greece to support the United States’ and Nato’s objectives for strategic access in the region.”   

In another development, a total of 140 New York Army National Guard soldiers attached to the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will be deployed to Germany to train Ukrainian personnel.

Ahead of the deployment, the team will undergo training at Fort Bliss, Texas.

They will replace 160 Florida Army National Guard personnel from the 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s Task Force Gator in September.

Under the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine mission, the Florida team is leading the training in Germany and other regions.