By supporting Ukrainian industry, EU can directly finance Ukrainian defenses


The European Union should more deeply integrate Ukraine’s domestic defense production into the ecosystem of the European defense industry, which would allow the EU to procure military equipment directly from Ukrainian manufacturers, thus directly financing Ukrainian defense.

This was stated by EU High Representative Josep Borrell in Brussels during a press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council (Defense) on Tuesday, reports an Ukrinform correspondent.

“We discussed about the European Defense Industrial Strategy. We took stock of the result of the last EU-Ukraine Defense Industries Forum, with more than 400 participants. It is clear that we need to anchor the Ukrainian defense industry in our industrial ecosystem. We could perfectly finance directly the Ukrainian defense [industry for] the products of the Ukrainian defense [industry] to go directly to the Ukrainian needs,” said the high representative.

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He noted that this practice would greatly simplify supply chains as the European side would not need to produce, buy, and then sell defense products, as they would be produced locally and also sold there. In addition, such cooperation would significantly reduce costs for the transportation of raw materials and finished products. In this way, the EU would achieve two goals at once – it would develop Ukrainian industry and promote greater autonomy for Ukraine in defense production.

Josep Borrell said European government officials had discussed this topic, among others, with the participation of Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov, who joined members of EU Foreign Affairs Council in videoconference mode – not from Kyiv, but from the front line, from where he briefed EU officials on the situation on the ground. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also took part in the meeting, which allowed for lively discussion and coordination of military aid to Ukraine from the EU and the Alliance.

“We discussed a lot of things. I cannot summarize all of them because there are many. We review[ed] the commitments on air defense systems and interceptors. Germany informed about their air defense initiative. Some Member States increased their contribution to the air defense. We analyzed in detail the ammunition supply, [through] different channels – from the Czech initiative to the European Union initiative, [to] the joint procurement, [to] bilateral [procurement] by Member States, [or buying] directly from industries. 

It is clear that this is one of the key issues to stop Russian advances: how we can help to fund all these initiatives and how we can help the Ukrainians to develop their own industrial capacities,” the high representative emphasized.

As reported earlier, the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Defense) was held in Brussels on Tuesday. The main topic of the meeting was continuing and strengthening military aid to Ukraine, supporting the nation in defending against unprovoked and criminal Russian aggression.


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