The EU appears to be shortchanging Poland even for the substantial amount of arms it is supplying to Ukraine, which remains a vital strategic objective for Brussels. Poland has sent the EU bills worth around €2.2 billion but has only received €27 million so far, meaning the EU has refunded approximately only 1 percent of Poland’s costs for the war.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told journalists that Poland was submitting a request for its military aid to Ukraine to be reimbursed from the appropriate EU funds. He said that this was a “test of goodwill” from the EU.
In March of last year, the EU set up a fund for arming Ukraine. The European Peace Fund was created for the purpose of refunding member states for the arms they transfer to Ukraine. The fund has been replenished several times already, and after the latest decision on Monday to add €500 million, it will amount to €3.6 billion.
The problem is that this fund has not been functioning very well. Poland’s ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the bureaucracy is slow and the scale of refunds low.
The total paid out of the fund has so far been €76 million, which was paid to six EU member states. The largest amount went to Slovakia, amounting to €40 million, and Greece received €7 million. The European Commission refuses to confirm or deny these figures, saying that they are confidential.
Diplomats estimate that the refund has so far covered only 1 percent of the money actually spent by the member states. The payments into the fund are dependent on the size of the GDP of individual member states. This means that Germany and France are the biggest contributors to this fund. Any decision to enlarge the fund has to be taken by all 27 EU member states.
Poland has been one of the most active EU states with regard to military aid for Ukraine. It has sent T-72 tanks, artillery, and howitzers as well as air defense systems. It has just announced that it also plans to transfer some of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.