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EU To Help Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine Improve Defense Capabilities.

The European Council has adopted assistance measures to strengthen the military and defense capacities of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine over three years.
The measures under the European Peace Facility (EPF) aim to promote “domestic resilience and peace,” and do not involve the supply of lethal equipment, the Council said in a statement on December 2. Under the program, Georgia is to receive assistance worth 12.75 million euros ($14.46 million) to help its armed forces' “ability to provide their services to civilians in crises or emergency situations,” it said. The assistance measure will provide medical and engineering equipment, as well as “civilian-type mobility assets,” according to the European Council. It said 7 million euros ($7.9 million) will be made available to help Moldova’s military build the capacities of its medical and engineering services. In particular, the money will finance the provision of medical equipment for the Military Medical Service, and of explosive-ordnance-disposal equipment for the Engineering Battalion. For Ukraine, a 31 million euro ($35.1 million) assistance measure will “enhance the overall resilience” of the country and “help strengthen the capacities” of its armed forces. It will finance field hospitals and other military medical units, as well as “engineering, mobility and logistics units.” The announcement comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine, where fighting between government forces and Moscow-backed separatists has claimed more than 13,200 lives over the past seven years. Moldova and Georgia have also been locked in protracted conflicts for years. In 1992, Moldova fought a bloody war in its Moscow-backed separatist Transdniester region that ended in a truce mediated and maintained by Russia. Russian troops are still stationed in the region. Russia troops have also maintained troops in Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia since fighting a brief war against Georgia in 2008. The European Peace Facility was established earlier this year with the aim of "preventing conflict, preserving peace and strengthening international security and stability." Under the facility, the council had already adopted assistance measures worth 10 million euros ($11.3 million) to support Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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