The Belgian government is set to agree today on donating €12 million in military aid to Ukraine, Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder confirmed in an interview with Belgian newspaper L’Écho. Since the outbreak of the war, Belgium’s Ministry of Defence has already transferred €45 million of equipment to Ukraine.
According to the minister, Belgium will send heavy machine guns, ammunition, and other equipment from Belgian arms manufacturer FN Herstal. “We will also send non-lethal equipment for the winter, helmets, spare provisions and night vision equipment. At the beginning of 2023, we will deliver ambulances and medical evacuation vehicles."
Belgium has also offered training to Ukrainian forces as part of the European Union’s training missions. Dedonder said that Belgium is prepared to provide further training in maritime and land mine clearance as well as marksman training with the Belgian special forces. A decision on which nations will provide training is expected at the end of the month and will be made by the EU.
Keen to emphasise the non-lethal support it offers, Belgium has committed to caring for 45 Ukrainian injured military personnel and chronically ill patients from Ukraine.
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By mid-2023, Dedonder said that new Belgian troops will be deployed to the Constanta NATO base in Romania, close to the border with Ukraine.
The base has served as a forward operating base for NATO to dissuade Russia from violating Europe’s borders. Belgian troops on deployment in Romania have since been replaced by Dutch troops as part of NATO’s troop rotations. Belgium will contribute to NATO’s aerial defence of Europe, deploying new aircraft to the Baltic.
“We plan to redeploy 6 F-16s to Estonia; I will present a request in a few weeks to parliament and the government. Finally, our mine hunter, the Narcisse, will be deployed in the Mediterranean… It has around 40 men on board,” Dedonder said.