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EU set to train 15,000 Ukrainian troops, provide more arms funding for Kyiv



European Union foreign ministers are expected to come to an agreement about a mission to train 15,000 Ukrainian troops starting next month and an additional EUR500m for arms delivery to Kyiv at their meeting.

In response to Tehran’s recent crackdown against protesters, they are likely to increase sanctions against Iran. They will also examine the relations between the bloc and China from a new perspective, which could lead to a more aggressive stance towards Beijing.

Two EU officials stated that military training would start in November on EU territory. It would be held at one of the hubs in Poland or Germany.

Many EU countries have trained Ukrainian troops in the use of certain weapons. This will continue.

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The European Union has provided financial and military support to Kyiv since the outbreak of war.

Foreign ministers will also be willing to contribute EUR500m (486m) to a fund which reimburses EU members who have supplied arms to Ukraine. This would increase the amount of arms available to Kyiv to more than 3 billion euros.

This money will be used to pay for the repair and maintenance costs of weapons delivered to Ukraine.


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SANCTIONS FOR IRAN

EU ministers are likely to impose travel bans and asset freezes against 15 Iranians involved in the crackdown on protestors in Iran. After Mahsa Amini’s 22-year-old death, these Iranians marched to the streets.

EU foreign ministers will discuss the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia. This allows for the possibility of additional sanctions being implemented at a later date.

Officials stated that ministers will review China’s relationships and make adjustments. Officials noted that Beijing is an important trading partner for Europe, and Europe depends on Chinese products and raw materials.

Diplomats claim that Brussels is concerned about Chinese President Xi Jinping putting China on an increasingly authoritarian path and is also worried about Xi’s support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

An EU official said that the objective was not to alter radically the EU policy but that things had already happened and ministers will be discussing it. He also suggested that future changes may be necessary.

He said that leaders of the bloc would discuss China strategy on Friday and Saturday at a summit, and that the EU would closely watch the opening ceremony for the Communist Party Congress on Sunday (16 Oct).


($1 = EUR1.0289)

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