The European Union is open to the possibility of deploying troops in Ukraine if and when Russia is defeated, one of the bloc’s top military officials has said.
General Robert Brieger, who serves as the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, said troops from individual Member States could be sent East after the conflict ends in order to support Ukraine’s remilitarisation efforts.
According to the official, one of the main roles for EU troops would be mine clearing, with the military man expecting there to be a lot of work to do if and when Russia is defeated.
Operations would not be limited to such non-lethal interventions, with Gen Brieger saying EU soldiers would also likely help Ukraine with training their forces in preparation for any future conflict.
“After the end of the conflict, Ukraine will need help with de-mining and with building up capacities,” he told Die Welt.
He said it was “realistic” to expect European troops to help with “developing a modern armed-forces culture, training in modern weapons and teaching up-to-date strategies for national defence”.
Ireland has been caught planning to give Ukrainian troops weapons training, despite claiming to be a militarily neutral country regarding Kyiv’s conflict with Russia. https://t.co/hUfPXOL6Zp
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 18, 2023
Gen Brieger reportedly sees such an operation as an extension of the training EU forces are providing the country with now.
Some 30,000 Ukrainians are currently being trained within the bloc, with Member States providing the fighters with instruction ranging from “basic training” to “technically complex courses” in warfare.
The project has not been without controversy, with the involvement of the Irish Defence Forces drawing ire from many.
Although the Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar had initially insisted that all instruction given to Ukrainian troops from their Irish counterparts would be “non-lethal”, journalists have since uncovered that Defence Forces’ personnel will be training Kyiv’s troops in marksmanship and other warfare tactics.
Ireland’s Government has insisted that such training poses “no conflict” with the country’s commitment to neutrality.
Former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told his followers on Telegram that Russia must not stop its military offensive against Ukraine until it ceases to exist. https://t.co/EDDYj8h3mg
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) August 21, 2023