Belgium’s Federal Government is considering the delivery of heavy-duty weapons, such as armoured vehicles or artillery, to Ukraine and the deployment of forensic experts to investigate Russian war crimes.
The first discussions took place on Wednesday afternoon, but no official decision was made. Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder and the ‘core cabinet’ – consisting of the Prime Minister and deputy prime ministers – will meet again on Friday, when a final decision is expected to be made, as per reports.
“It is clear that the conflict in Ukraine has entered a new phase with the offensive in the Donbas region,” the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said.
“Belgium remains in solidarity with Ukraine and is looking at how it can continue to assist,” a spokesperson said. “In addition to military and humanitarian aspects, we are also looking at how our country can support the investigation into war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, including through the use of Belgian forensic expertise.”
Belgium already sent more than 3,000 automatic weapons, 200 anti-tank weapons, and 3,800 tons of fuel to Ukraine at the end of February. Following Russia’s aggression in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, however, Belgium is looking into providing more heavy-duty military equipment.
For a few weeks now, Ukraine has been demanding for more heavy weapons to counter Russia’s attacks in the east of the country. On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the countries that do not supply arms and ammunition to Ukraine “should know that this battle also depends on them.”
In a video speech on Tuesday night, Zelenskyy said that if his forces had had access to better weapons, “we would have already ended this war.” He also stressed it is “the moral duty” of countries that have weapons and ammunition that Ukraine needs, “to help protect freedom and save the lives of thousands of Ukrainians.”