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EU Foreign Policy Chief Eyes Green Light for Ukraine Training Mission

PRAGUE (Reuters) – European Union defence ministers might agree in principle on Tuesday on setting up an EU military training mission for Ukraine, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said.

Several EU countries have been training Ukrainian troops for a while individually, mainly enabling them to operate weapons Western nations are delivering to Ukraine to help its fight against Russia’s invasion.

“The situation on the ground continues to be very bad,” foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said as he arrived at a meeting of EU defence ministers in Prague.

“We will continue supporting Ukraine with initiatives such as this training mission which ministers will discuss,” he said, adding: “A general, overall political agreement (on a joint training mission) is what I think we have to get today … I hope we will have a political green light for this mission.”

It is not clear yet where a broader EU training programme could be based and what mandate it might have, and Borrell provided no details.

Later in the day, EU foreign ministers, also meeting in Prague, may agree tightening the issuance of visas for Russians and start debating a wider ban on tourist visas, though EU officials said there was no agreement on that.

“There is war in Europe and not far from here. Russia’s brutal aggression will be the most important topic of our meeting today,” Czech Defence Minister Jana Cernochova said.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Ingrid Melander and Bart Meijer; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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