EU military stockpiles ‘depleted’ – Borrell

The EU must invest more into military production to continue arming Ukraine, the bloc’s top diplomat says

EU military stockpiles ‘depleted’ – Borrell
12 Dec, 2022 02:06 HomeWorld News

EU military stockpiles ‘depleted’ – Borrell

Brussels bureaucrat insists the military industrial complex needs more investments to continue arming Ukraine

European Union members must pour more resources into boosting their military capabilities to ensure the flow of weapons will continue “until Ukraine prevails” over Russia, the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said, acknowledging that insufficient preparation has led to member states’ armories being stripped all but bare.

“We have given weapons to Ukraine, but in so doing, we realized that our military stockpiles have been depleted,” he wrote in a blog post on Sunday. “And we should be able to do this as long as necessary, until Ukraine prevails.”

The situation “has been a wake-up call for all of us about our military capabilities,” he lamented, reiterating his last week’s assessment that the EU is “lacking critical defense capabilities.”

While admitting that “you do not fight wars with bank notes,” and acknowledging “there is a long way between allocating money and developing physical and human operational capabilities,” Borrell praised the fact that the EU spending on defense had surpassed the €200 billion-level in 2021 for the first time.

Borrell also noted that the unchecked military spending in the name of helping Ukraine defeat Russia has brought the EU and its member nations closer to NATO’s benchmark of 2% GDP spending on military than they have been in years, while the European Defense Agency – which he also spearheads – saw a record €52 billion ($54.7bn) in defense investments. 

As of last month, the EU and its member states together had committed over $11 billion in purely military aid to Ukraine in 2022, according to statistics collected by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. The UK and Canada provided another $5.5 billion, while the top donor, the US, sent at least $22.8 billion worth of weapons.

Ukraine’s Western backers, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised to keep the supply of arms to Kiev flowing “for as long as it takes,” a phrase that both leaders, as well as US President Joe Biden have frequently used when referring to their multibillion-dollar arms shipments.

Moscow has long warned the West against sending arms to Kiev, saying it will only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of direct confrontation between Russia and NATO, while making the West a de-facto participant. In September, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that “virtually all stocks from NATO arsenals were thrown in to support the Kiev regime.”