EU to start training Ukrainian troops in Poland in November: reports

The European Union’s new initiative to train Ukrainian soldiers in Poland and several other countries is set to be launched next month, according to media reports.

The European Unions new scheme to train Ukrainian soldiers, with headquarters in Poland, is set to be launched in mid-November, news agencies reported on Friday.

The European Union’s new scheme to train Ukrainian soldiers, with headquarters in Poland, is set to be launched in mid-November, news agencies reported on Friday. PAP/EPA/Mykola Tys

The bloc’s foreign ministers are expected to approve the creation of the EU Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM) for Ukraine at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Slated for launch in mid-November, the mission will initially train up to 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and is tentatively expected to cost EUR 106 million over two years, officials said.

Poland to host multinational training command

A large majority of the Ukrainian troops will receive training in neighbouring Poland, where the mission’s operational-level command will also be located, most likely in the southeastern city of Rzeszów, sources in Brussels told public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency. 

“This was important for Ukraine, to ensure fast movement of troops as time is of key importance,” an EU expert said, as cited by IAR. 

Basic and specialised military training

Depending on the needs of the Ukrainian army, the EU military assistance mission will provide both basic and specialised military training, with topics ranging from infantry combat to artillery operations and armoured warfare, as well as air defence and medical support, the PAP news agency reported.

Another key aim of the effort is to “standardise and coordinate” military training for Ukrainian troops, which is already being provided by several EU members, including Poland, as well as countries outside the bloc, such as Britain, military experts in Brussels told the IAR news agency.   

EU officials also said that „the EUMAM is not meant to rival NATO” and that “non-EU countries, such as Britain, have been invited to take part in the training mission,” the IAR news agency reported.

The list of countries participating in the project is expected to be finalised in the coming days, according to PAP.  

Delay due to German worries over Poland’s role?

The EUMAM is set to be launched after some delay, which was apparently caused by Germany’s worries over Poland’s role in the project, according to the euractiv.com news service. 

Berlin reportedly expressed concern about Warsaw’s “too offensive attitude towards Russia” and about whether Poland should assume such a key role on the “command and control” side of the training mission, euractiv.com reported on Wednesday, citing several EU diplomats.

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, euractiv.comeeas.europa.eu

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