Sweden demands compensation from EU – media
Sweden is seeking compensation from the European Union for the military equipment it has sent to Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia, Swedish Radio reported on Wednesday.
Stockholm approved sending military supplies to Ukraine over the past two months. Late in February, it greenlit the delivery of some 135,000 field rations, 5,000 helmets, and 5,000 pieces of body armor, as well as some 5,000 shoulder-fired anti-tank Pansarskott 86 grenade launchers.
Late in March, the country approved the delivery of a further 5,000 anti-tank weapons, as well as de-mining kits. The two batches had an estimated cost of 413 million kroner ($43.5 million) and 205 million kroner ($21.7 million), respectively.
The country is now seeking compensation from the European Union for its deliveries, requesting 95 million kroner ($10 million) for the batch of 5,000 helmets alone, the outlet reported, noting that the sum is significantly larger than the actual cost of the “old” equipment. Still, Stockholm is unlikely to profit from the Ukraine deliveries should it actually succeed in receiving compensation from the EU. Instead, supporting Kiev is likely to incur costs, the radio station suggested.
Multiple European countries – as well as the United States – have pledged their support for Kiev amid its standoff with Moscow, sending in weaponry and assorted equipment to prop up Ukrainian forces. Some Western leaders – such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell – have openly stated that they wanted Russia to “be defeated” by Ukraine on the battlefield.
Moscow has urged Western nations against “pumping” Ukraine with weaponry, warning that it would only prolong the conflict and inflict further damage on Ukraine and its people.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.