The European Union plans to train up to 15,000 Ukrainian servicemen as part of a new training mission. EU member states agreed on this at the working level, writes Spiegel.
According to diplomats involved in the negotiations, 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers must undergo special training, such as tactical combat training for commanders or courses for engineers.
The plans of the mission, which the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell proposed at the end of August, should be determined already in mid-October. According to EU diplomats, then everything can go very quickly.
So far, some EU countries have trained Ukrainians as part of bilateral projects. The Bundeswehr in Germany trained teams for weapons systems supplied by Berlin, such as the Panzerhaubitze2000 or the Gepard anti-aircraft system.
If the EU approves the mission, which will be given the somewhat cumbersome name "European Union Military Assistance Mission" or EUMAM for short, the activities of individual states will be combined, which will allow for better coordination.
There were some disagreements on the sidelines about the details of mission planning. Poland proposed to create a kind of central training camp for Ukrainians near the border with Ukraine. According to the military, the Poles wanted to train entire combat groups up to a battalion there.
Germany, meanwhile, doesn't think too highly of the central training center. The Bundeswehr says it would take a long time to set up a large training camp in Poland alone, and that such a camp would have to be thoroughly secured against possible espionage by Russian intelligence services, as well as possible attacks or sabotage. As evidence, concrete evidence is given that the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Wildflexen was monitored by Russia with the help of drones.
As a result, a compromise was found at the working level. It is assumed that the Poles will create something like a small headquarters, in military slang called "the headquarters of the forces", and will receive EU funds. Instead of a central training camp, individual courses should be organized in EU countries.
Germany is already planning its own training courses in the Bundeswehr. For example, the army could train Ukrainian commanders in tactics in a combat simulation center, and sappers, medics and other specialists should also be trained in Germany.
The final details of the EUMAM mission are to be agreed in Brussels next week. A decision on the project should then be taken at the next official meeting of the EU Council on October 17.
As you know, the Ukrainian military training program has been operating in Britain since the summer, which can provide training for up to 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen every 120 days.
Finland, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand also announced their participation in the training of the Ukrainian military.