Correspondent in Brussels
The European Union I would be seriously considering sending a military mission training for Ukrainian officers in response to the “military activities” of Russia on its western border, according to a document published by the German newspaper ‘Welt am Sonntag’ that has neither been confirmed nor denied by European diplomacy.
The idea has received the support of several Eastern European governments that maintain complicated relations with Russia, although it is not easy for it to elicit the approval of other countries, precisely for fear that this will further strain contacts with Moscow. On October 12, a EU-Ukraine summit in Kiev and it is quite possible that any decision will not be
announced before that date.
According to the report published in Germany, the ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ukraine had formally requested the launch of this military training and advice program in a letter addressed in July this year to the High Representative for European Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell.
Exercises on the border
The document details the idea that “a military mission would underline the visibility and commitment to the countries of the Eastern Partnership initiative”, despite the fact that this program designed to help Ukraine as well as other countries. ex-soviet republics like Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan, it lacks a military dimension, although since 2012 the Defense Ministry of Ukraine participates in meetings on administrative reforms.
The push for the mission comes after several member states have repeatedly raised concerns about Russia’s military exercises near the Ukrainian border and those of the EU, including the ‘Zapad’ (West) maneuvers that took place in September with a significant mass build-up of Russian and Belarusian troops near Ukraine.