Borrell Sees No Danger in Depleting EU Ammunition Depots to Help Ukraine
14:43 GMT 08.03.2023 (Updated: 12:48 GMT 19.06.2023)
© Sputnik / Alexey VitvitskyJosep Borrel
© Sputnik / Alexey Vitvitsky/
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for the supply of weapons from the bloc's stockpiles to Ukraine on Wednesday both in the short and long terms, while assuring that it would not pose a threat to the security of the EU member states.
"Member states, happily for them, they are not at war so they can wait [supplies of new munitions] ... I don't see the danger. Why is it dangerous?" Borrell said on the sidelines of an informal meeting of the EU defense ministers in Stockholm.
In this regard, the top EU diplomat also presented a three-pillar plan to stimulate supplies of NATO standard ammunition from the bloc's existing stockpiles to Ukraine.
"I presented a proposal ... It has three pillars. First, to provide ammunition quickly from the existing stock. We are talking about weeks [before starting the supplies] so we need to use what we already have," Borrell stated, adding that around 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion) could be allocated for this part of the plan.
The EU foreign policy chief went on to say that the European Union should also ramp up deliveries of its ammunition to Kiev in the medium and long terms through increased production and joint procurement.
Borrell's proposal is expected to be considered at the upcoming EU summit from March 23-24 after discussions at the levels of the EU defense and foreign ministers.
Meanwhile, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton announced his intention to visit all defense production enterprises in the EU member states to discuss the issue of boosting the bloc's military manufacturing, including of ammunition.
"We are at a decisive moment now for our support to Ukraine… We need to do whatever it takes to supply Ukraine especially with ammunitions … I will myself come and visit all the defense industry in Europe," Breton said.
Western countries have been supplying Ukraine with various types of weapon systems, including air defense missiles, multiple launch rocket systems, tanks, self-propelled artillery and anti-aircraft guns since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Moscow has warned that arms deliveries are not conductive to a peaceful resolution and further escalate the conflict, risking full-scale NATO involvement in the fighting.