March 15

A meeting of the Weimar Triangle, which includes France, Germany, and Poland, announced the creation of the Coalition of “long-range jet artillery.” The direction for the organization of joint production of weapons in Ukraine was also confirmed. This decision will provide an impetus for deepening defense cooperation. The German corporation Rheinmetal has already announced plans to build four arms factories in Ukraine. Such activity by Germany will encourage Polish and French manufacturers to enter the Ukrainian market more actively.

March 18

At a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU attended by Ukraine’s Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, a decision was made to allocate an additional €5 billion for military support to Ukraine in2024 in the form of a separate Aid Fund for Ukraine within the framework of the European Peace Fund.

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This decision was important for several reasons. The creation of such a Fund opens another channel for military aid for Ukraine other than weapons supplies resulting from bilateral security agreements. It is a long-term mechanism that will facilitate faster implementation of initiatives such as the Czech Republic's proposal for consolidated purchase of artillery ammunition for Ukraine. It also means that decisions relating to individual financial initiatives within the Fund do not require unanimity, neutralizing attempts to block such decisions by individual nations.

EU to Discuss Organizing Separate Ukrainian Peace Talks to Include Russia
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EU to Discuss Organizing Separate Ukrainian Peace Talks to Include Russia

As several leading countries turn down invitations to June’s Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland, EU foreign ministers will discuss how to salvage the process.

March 20

The 20th meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine in the “Ramstein” format was held with the participation of the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Rustem Umerov. As a result of this meeting, several important decisions were made, including the US announcement to provide additional security support for Ukraine worth $300 million. These funds will be used to meet urgent needs in air defense, artillery, and anti-tank capabilities.

Germany announced a new military aid package for Ukraine worth €500 million, including 10,000 artillery shells from Bundeswehr stocks, 100 infantry fighting vehicles, and 100 transport vehicles. Belgium approved a package of additional military aid for Ukraine worth €412 million, that would include three minesweeping vessels in cooperation with the Netherlands, armored ambulances, reconnaissance drones and the transfer of about 300 armored vehicles.

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April 2

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg proposed creating a special fund to finance military aid to Ukraine with a budget of €100 billion over five years. The purpose of creating such a fund is to provide reliable and predictable assistance to Ukraine for the long term. Stoltenberg said, “We must rely less on voluntary contributions and more on NATO commitments, less on short-term proposals, and more on multi-year perspectives.”

Ukraine’s Own Efforts

The Verkhovna Rada is actively working on the implementation of the President's initiative to increase the levels of inter-parliamentary diplomacy. The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, prepared an appeal to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson for a call to vote on a draft law on aid to Ukraine supported by the signatures of the parliamentary speakers from 27 nations.

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March 19

The Verkhovna Rada made an appeal to the parliaments and governments of foreign countries to adopt measures on the non-recognition of the results of Russia’s presidential elections. The document also called for “continued provision to Ukraine of all necessary military assistance as the only effective method of countering the armed aggressor and assisting Ukraine in restoring territorial integrity within its internationally recognized state borders.”

March 18-19

The Verkhovna Rada Chairman visited Austria, where he had discussions with the heads of several European parliaments regarding the strengthening of military aid and defense cooperation.

March 21

Speaking at a meeting of the European Council, President Zelensky said that “Russian defeat is not a fantasy, but a completely earthly reality, something that can be ensured.

“But for this, Europe must unite around a common goal. After all, Russia's war is not only against Ukraine, but also a war against the whole of Europe and the European way of life.”

 Europe heard the call of our President, answering briefly and clearly: “There will be weapons.”

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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Oleksiy Leonov is a Ukrainian Member of Parliament from Odesa, a member of the Servant of the People Party, chef and restaurant chain owner.

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