THE European Union is planning to "coordinate sending arms to Ukraine" as Germany commits €100 billion to a new armed forces fund.

It comes after the German government reversed a historic policy of never sending weapons to conflict zones on Saturday by announcing it would provide armed support to Ukraine.

And now Politico reports that EU officials will soon unveil a programme which could potentially enable all 27 members to provide similar assistance.

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According to two diplomats, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will discuss the plan at a virtual foreign ministers’ meeting at 6pm on Sunday night. It is understood the proposal will be worked on through the night.

Borrell’s announcement followed consultations with European Council President Charles Michel, who is responsible for convening the EU’s 27 heads of state and government.

The bloc is barred from using its normal budget to fund operations with defence or military implications, according to EU treaties.

The National:

Natali Sevriukova next to her home in Kyiv after a rocket attack

But, to get around that restriction, EU members have an “off-budget” financing vehicle which can be used to provide military aid - ironically called the “European Peace Facility”.

Officials familiar with the planning said the general idea is for EU countries to provide lethal weapons following the model Germany set out Saturday, when it decided to send Ukraine 1000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft systems from its own stockpile.

The European Peace Facility would be used to coordinate shipments and other logistics.

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However, EU member countries will have to give unanimous consent to authorise its use.

There is a rule which allows for “constructive abstention” for member states who wish to remain neutral and gives them an opt-out whilst still allowing the rest of the bloc to move ahead with the plans.

The National:

Ukrainian soldiers on the street of Kyiv outside a military facility

Borrell tweeted on Saturday night: “I am convening a virtual meeting of EU Foreign Ministers tomorrow at 18.00 to adopt further measures in support of #Ukraine, against aggression by #Russia.

“I will propose a package of emergency assistance for the Ukrainian armed forces, to support them in their heroic fight.”

According to one diplomat, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has already asked his EU counterparts for specific types of military assistance.

This includes the blocking of a Russian satellite navigation system and the jamming of Russian communications throughout Ukraine and the seas bordering it to the south.

Meanwhile, numerous EU countries have been trying to provide weapons and other support to Ukraine as the country faces a multi-pronged invasion by land, air and sea.

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For instance, the Netherlands said it would send Stingers, as well rocket-propelled grenade launchers after security permission from Berlin — authorization needed because the launchers were made by a German company.

And in Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is set to raise defence spending above 2% of GDP to 100 billion euros (£84bn).

The National:

There have been anti-war protests supporting Ukraine in cities around the world

Scholz told a special session of the Bundestag in Berlin on Sunday morning: “It’s clear we need to invest significantly more in the security of our country, in order to protect our freedom and our democracy.”

The move is a significant one for Germany, which has come under criticism from the United States and other Nato allies for not investing adequately in its defence budget.