Germany is set to make a huge U-turn after blocking EU countries from training Ukrainian forces prior to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the country.
Last week Spanish politician Josep Borrell, who serves as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the EU, suggested the EU countries begin training Ukrainian soldiers to assist in their fight against Russian aggression – a policy the UK has already successfully implemented.
However, this is not the first time the proposal has been put forward. Just before Moscow launched its invasion in February, a similar plan was put to EU countries to help bring Ukrainian forces in line with NATO standards.
Some EU countries rejected the plan – chief among them was Germany. The countries, also including Italy, Cyprus and Greece, feared that such training would escalate tensions with Russia unnecessarily. The training mission was backed by eastern and Baltic EU nations – those closest to Russia.
Still, Berlin made a push to send cash to Kyiv as opposed to military instructors.
In February, Putin launched his invasion, tanking relations with the EU and the West. Germany, after a slow start which was criticised by Kyiv, now provides Ukraine with weapons and equipment. It’s likely that Germany will now perform another about-face and support the training of Ukrainian troops in the EU.