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Belgium offers new package of military and financial aid to Ukraine.

| 2023

On Friday, May 12, the Belgian government decided to adopt a new package of support measures for Ukraine. This aid comes in a context where Ukraine is preparing its counter-offensive against Russia and where the Ukrainian population must also be supported. The total amount of new financial resources allocated reaches 92 million euros. These financial resources come from the tax revenue earned on Russian financial assets frozen in Belgium.
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Belgian army IVECO LMV Lynx of which the Belgian Ministry of Defense will offer 80 units to the Ukrainian army. Mrs. Ludivine Dedonder, Belgian Minister of Defense (right), attended the rehearsal of Belgium's National Day parade in Peutie on July 19, 2023 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Half of the amount, 46 million euros, is devoted to new military aid. They relate to the delivery of armored vehicles, armaments and ammunition. The objective, in discussion with the Ukrainian army, is to achieve the first deliveries very quickly.

Alongside this military aid, an additional 46 million euros are also released with the aim of supporting the Ukrainian population and consolidating the Belgian diplomatic presence. The majority of this amount (24 million euros) relates to increased humanitarian aid which, in coordination with the United Nations, will be allocated in large cities and in war zones to basic needs such as education, health and food safety.

8 million euros are allocated to the reconstruction of Ukraine via funds set up by the EIB (European Investment Bank) and the World Bank. They are added to the amounts already invested. Finally, investments are planned to re-modulate and strengthen the Belgian diplomatic network in Ukraine and in the region, secure Ukrainian strategic infrastructure (including its nuclear power plants) and contribute to the support fund for war victims in view of their future actions before the International Criminal Court.

Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister: “Belgium has never ceased to be at Ukraine's side, and this from the start of the conflict. This message, I passed on again last week to Volodymyr Zelensky during our meeting in The Hague and we listened to his needs. For the war to end, the counter-offensive planned by Ukraine must be a success. The additional aid that Belgium is providing today will contribute to this.” He adds that "Among the about 500 million euros of Belgian assistance offered to Ukraine, these 92 million euros aren't Belgian money but in fact come from confiscated money of Russian assets blocked in Belgium; as Russia is the aggressor, it is normal that profits coming from these blocked assets are dedicated to the assistance to Ukraine".

Ludivine Dedonder, Minister of Defense: “Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Defense has done everything possible to support the Ukrainian armed forces in the protection of their population and their territory. We continue to do so and the new supports that are under consideration take into account the concrete needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as well as the Defense stocks available from the Defense, and this in consultation with the Belgian defense industry. The success of this new aid will lie in the speed with which the new equipment can be delivered to Ukraine. The aim of our country with this new package of armaments and ammunition is to meet the needs on the ground in a very short time. At the same time, Defense continues to study how Belgium can support the Ukrainian forces without compromising its own strike force and its state of readiness”.

Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Belgium remains determined to support Ukraine and the Ukrainians, among others via the International Criminal Court. We are particularly invested in supporting victims of war, women and girls who have been victims of sexual assault and the thousands of children deported to Russia. An investigation must be conducted as soon as possible to shed full light on these war crimes and bring the culprits to justice. In addition, displaced populations in neighboring countries, including Moldova, need support and protection. The safety of nuclear power plants will also be the subject of particular attention. The aggression of Ukraine by Russia and the direct and indirect consequences of this conflict also require increased attention in the region. The Belgian diplomatic network will therefore be adapted to the current geopolitical environment by opening two diplomatic posts in Chisinau (Moldova) and Yerevan (Armenia)”.

Caroline Gennez, Minister for Development Cooperation: “The damage caused to essential infrastructure in Ukraine is colossal and its impact on the lives of Ukrainian families is enormous. The Russian military targets energy infrastructure, railway lines and even schools and hospitals. This is a deliberate tactic aimed at breaking the resistance of Ukrainian citizens and making everyday life almost impossible for many people. For this reason, it is essential to continue to support the civilian population and ensure that the population has access to basic services: food, drinking water, shelter, medical care and schools where their children can go safely. With this new Belgian international solidarity effort, we are helping the Ukrainians to hold on. Europe will not be safe until Ukraine is safe”.

Vincent Van Peteghem, Minister of Finance: "As Governor of Belgium to development banks such as the EIB and the World Bank, I consider it important that our government contributes to the reconstruction of Ukraine by through the funds of these banks. These banks ensure that the private sector can also play a major role in the reconstruction”.

Defense News May 2023

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