Top European diplomat Josep Borrell said the bloc was set to approve an additional 500 million euros ($527 million) in military aid to Ukraine.

European Union defense ministers are expected to approve an additional 500 million euros ($527 million) in military aid to Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said.

“We must continue to support the Ukrainians with weapons, that’s why we will withdraw an additional 500 million euros” from the European Peace Facility, Borrell told reporters on Tuesday on his way to the meeting of defense ministers. of the EU.

The new tranche of military support would bring the bloc’s military aid to 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion).

Borrell also expressed support for Finland’s and Sweden’s demands to join NATO and hoped the alliance would be able to overcome Turkey’s objection to the offers.

According to Borrell, the two countries “will receive strong support from all member states as it increases our unity and makes us stronger.”

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and her Luxembourg counterpart François Bausch said the two countries belong to NATO “because of the values ​​they stand for”.

Sweden has signed a formal application for NATO membership, a day after the country announced it would seek membership in the 30-member military alliance.

Finnish lawmakers also officially endorsed Finnish leaders’ decision to join.

The measures taken by the two Nordic countries, ending more than 200 years of military non-alignment by Sweden and Finland’s non-alignment after the Second World War, have angered the Kremlin.

While most NATO members want to welcome the two countries as soon as possible, Turkey has potentially complicated their membership by saying it cannot allow them to become members due to their perceived inaction against Kurdish fighters. in exile.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday doubled down on comments from last week that the two Nordic countries’ path to NATO would be anything but smooth.

He accused the two Nordic countries of refusing to extradite “terrorists” wanted by his country.

“Turkey opposes it. Turkey says both harbor terrorism, have PKK supporters and Kurdish nationalists living in their countries. This is something that is going to be a big deal all week long,” Al Jazeera diplomatic editor James Bays reported from Brussels.

“We understand that the Turkish Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State will meet in New York in the next few days, but how to solve this problem?

Turkey is a member of NATO. The 30 NATO countries must agree to open the door to new members.

Sanctions against Russia stalled

The EU was unable to agree on its sixth set of sanctions against Russia, which includes asset freezes and travel bans for prominent supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The plan presented earlier this month by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for an embargo on Russian oil imports to come into effect at the end of 2022.

Sanctions against Russia target individuals including Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, ban the export of luxury goods and imports of coal, and prevent Russian and Belarusian banks from using the SWIFT international payment system .

However, Hungary, which depends almost entirely on Russian oil, maintains an EU-wide embargo that requires unanimity from all 27 member states.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán compared the oil embargo to an atomic bomb hitting his country’s economy.