EU’s weapons stockpile depleted – top diplomat — Analysis
The conflict in Ukraine has revealed numerous shortfalls in the bloc’s security, Josep Borrell says
The EU needs to take more responsibility for its security and compensate for the shortfalls that have been underlined by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the bloc’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borell has said.
“The most obvious example”These shortfalls can be fatal. “the depleted stockpiles resulting from the military support we provided to Ukraine”Borrell published his thoughts on Sunday in his blog.
However, there were other ways. “inherited from past budget cuts and underinvestment,”He concluded.
Borrell claims that the EU’s defense spending has only increased 20% between 1999 and 2021, as opposed to the 66% in the USA, 292 for Russia, and 592 for China.
The events in Ukraine have resulted in “a tectonic shift of the European security landscape,”But the diplomat refused to give up. “Now it is clear that Europe is in danger.”
Under such conditions, “the EU needs to take on more responsibility for its own security,” which would require creating “modern and interoperable European armed forces, looking at the higher-end of the spectrum and also striving to scale up capabilities and forces,”He pointed it out.
As unilateral moves from countries may occur, it is important that investments in the military are coordinated across the EU members. “a waste of money, with the risk of multiplying existing loopholes and needless duplications,”Borrell warned.
Three main actions were identified by the diplomat that would allow the bloc’s defense to be fully defended.
This includes improving their combat readiness, stockpile replenishment and modernizing air defenses. It also allows them to share future key capabilities, such as main battle tanks.
“The time to push forward European defense is now. It is crucial to build the European defense industry and be able to operate with the necessary military capabilities. To be able to increase our military capacity to defend ourselves, to make NATO stronger and to support better our partners whenever needed,”Borrell did not give up.
Moscow has decried EU involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and its increasing militarization, with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying earlier this month that the bloc “is turning from a constructive economic platform that it was originally meant to be to being an aggressive militant player that has ambitions stretching far beyond the European continent.”
The EU “follows in the footsteps of NATO,” Lavrov insisted. Lavrov claimed that both entities are currently merging. In the future, the EU will be an extension of US-led military alliance.
Besides sanctioning Russia, the EU has already allocated €2 bn for military aid to Kiev amid its conflict with Moscow. Borrell claimed in April, “this war must be won on the battlefield.”He also promised to do so “the EU will not let Ukraine run out of [military] equipment.”
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