EU Defense Ministers Tentatively Agree On Further Military Assistance To Ukraine

EU Defense Ministers Tentatively Agree On Further Military Assistance To Ukraine

EU Defense: The head of the European diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, said that the heads of the defense departments of the EU countries generally agreed with his proposal on the order of military assistance to Ukraine, but it remains to agree on the details.

« I must report that a general agreement seems to be emerging on the basis of our exchange of views. Nevertheless, there are still unresolved issues. All this will need to be discussed in detail. Everyone agrees on the urgency of moving forward.

Everyone agrees on the goal of giving all possible support to Ukraine as soon as possible, » he said at a press conference in Stockholm on Wednesday after the conclusion of the informal EU Council at the level of defense ministers.

Borrell repeated his earlier call to « speed up the delivery time (of ammunition to Ukraine), reduce their price, and increase the volume of deliveries. » According to him, it is necessary to « deliver more, but at the same time faster. »

The head of the EU diplomacy said that he reported to the defense ministers on his proposed « three directions » of support for Ukraine with ammunition, which should be carried out simultaneously.

His proposal involves financing through the European Peace Fund to reimburse the cost of ammunition, which will be urgently supplied to Kyiv from the existing stocks of EU countries or through orders already placed.

This, he clarified, applies to the ammunition of both NATO calibers and the calibers of the armies of the countries of the former Warsaw Pact. Borrell invited the ministers to allocate 1 billion euros for this from the possibilities of the European Peace Fund.

Secondly, the High Representative of the EU suggested consolidating new orders from Member States for ammunition to replenish depleted reserves and further assistance to Ukraine.

In his opinion, this will help reduce prices for products of the military-industrial complex and reduce delivery times. In support of this project, he proposed to allocate another 1 billion euros through the European Peace Fund.

Thirdly, Borrell said, it is necessary to increase the capacity of the defense industry of the EU countries in order to be able to meet the demand of the armed forces of both Ukraine and the European Union itself.

He expects that, with the support of the Swedish Presidency of the EU Council, Brussels will be able to bring this work on this package to an agreement between the EU countries by March 20, when the EU Council, with the participation of foreign and defense ministers is to meet to agree on a specific official decision.

The meeting of defense ministers held on March 8 in Stockholm did not imply any decisions since the informal EU Councils do not adopt official documents.