Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has warned that discontinuing the European Union's funding program, which reimburses countries for supplying arms and ammunition to Ukraine, would financially strain smaller EU nations. He voiced these concerns in an interview with POLITICO, expressing that without the European Peace Facility (EPF), nations like Lithuania would struggle to support Ukraine.
Negotiations for a new €20 billion Ukraine aid package over four years are at an impasse, mainly due to opposition from Hungary. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has hinted at disrupting an upcoming EU leaders' summit over this issue, leading other countries to consider alternative avenues to aid Ukraine, such as direct bilateral financial support.
Landsbergis emphasized that Lithuania's ability to help Ukraine would diminish if forced to rely solely on its own budget, putting them at the end of a long line for reimbursements, adversely affecting European industry interests.
He acknowledged the growing concerns about the EU's political support for Ukraine and the difficulty in reaching consensus on the EPF and the proposed €20 billion aid. Nevertheless, Landsbergis indicated Lithuania's willingness to endorse changes to the EPF that would make it more acceptable to hesitant member states, advocating for increased transparency and connection to Ukraine's actual needs.
Drawing parallels to the joint procurement of COVID
, which allowed equal access to medicine, he highlighted the importance of a collective approach to supplying Ukraine, emphasizing that without it, smaller countries could be left waiting for necessary resources.