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Belgian army collaborates with Ukraine to enhance military capabilities

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Belgian Minister of Defence welcomes Ukrainian soldiers for specialized instruction in advanced technologies

In a significant development of international cooperation, the Belgian Army has embarked on a mission to provide comprehensive training to Ukrainian soldiers, equipping them with cutting-edge technologies and specialized skills. The initiative, supported by other allied countries, aims to enhance Ukraine’s military capabilities in the face of Russian aggression.

Belgian Minister of Defence, Ludivine Dedonder, warmly received a group of eight young soldiers from the Odesa naval base in southern Ukraine. The troops will be accommodated by the Belgian army and undergo an intensive week-long training session primarily focused on the use of underwater mine clearance drones, previously supplied by Belgium to Ukraine.

Originally scheduled to greet the Ukrainian soldiers upon their arrival at the Melsbroek military airport, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy regretfully had to cancel due to a busy schedule. Nonetheless, the soldiers will benefit from an accelerated education in underwater mine clearance and drone operation, laying the foundation for future collaborations between Belgium and Ukraine.

“This training is part of a European mission, in which Belgium and other allied countries support Ukraine against Russian invaders,” explained Minister Dedonder. She also took the opportunity to commend the courage of the young soldiers and emphasized the importance of providing additional training to ensure the optimal utilization of the equipment provided.

The Belgian Army has identified a total of 32 distinct training courses that it can offer visiting Ukrainian troops. Initially, 18 specialized courses will be made available, covering areas such as sniper training, engineering, mine clearance, medical training, infantry tactics, and protection against chemical, bacteriological, or nuclear attacks.

To ensure rapid operational readiness, the courses have been designed to be concise, minimizing the soldiers’ time away from their duties. Several hundred Belgian soldiers will serve as trainers, imparting their knowledge and expertise to the Ukrainian troops. Additionally, there are plans to dispatch Belgian military trainers to neighboring countries closer to the Ukrainian border, facilitating training sessions in a more accessible location.

The European Union has also expressed its commitment to supporting Ukraine’s military development. During the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv on February 3, it was announced that the number of Ukrainian troops trained under the European Union Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) will be doubled to 30,000. This expansion is part of the EU’s €16 million training scheme, further solidifying the collaborative efforts to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities.

The Belgian-Ukrainian training program marks a significant milestone in the ongoing commitment to fortify Ukraine’s armed forces. By sharing expertise, advanced technologies, and specialized skills, Belgium and its allied partners are actively contributing to Ukraine’s defense preparedness in the face of escalating challenges. As this fruitful collaboration continues to evolve, both nations stand united in their dedication to ensuring peace and stability in the region.

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