Borrell: It is important for EU to launch arms production in Ukraine

Borrell: It is important for EU to launch arms production in Ukraine

It is important for the European Union to integrate the Ukrainian defense industry with the European defense industry and launch the production of military equipment directly in Ukraine.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated this today in Brussels before the EU-Ukraine Defense Industries Forum, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"There are more than 140 firms coming from 25 different countries, and the purpose is to match the capacities of the Ukrainian industry with the European industry, and to see what are the opportunities to use European funding, in order to produce more and quicker - if possible, directly in Ukraine. It is important that the production could be done in Ukraine by Ukrainian firms, supported by EU firms. We save transportation costs, and we produce immediately right where the production is needed," Borrell said.

He noted that this is the third such event for the development of the Ukrainian defense industry. The first such forum was held in Ukraine, the second meeting was held in the United States, and the third one is hosted by Brussels. The result of the Brussels forum should be engaging and integrating the Ukrainian defense industry inside the ecosystem of the European defense capacities.

Read also: Ukraine already producing artillery rounds but still relying on international supplies - minister

"We have to produce more. We have to produce quicker. We have the funding of the European Peace Facility, and inside the European Peace Facility we have [the] Ukrainian [Assistance] Fund. So, let's see what they can do together, how they can integrate their capacities, how we can increase the capacities of the Ukrainian industry," Borrell said.

He added that representatives of the 140 companies that came to the forum are aware that Ukraine is at war and that Russian invaders are trying to attack the country's defense capabilities. Therefore, the task is not only the deployment of industrial capabilities in Ukraine to increase defense production, but also the provision of capabilities for their reliable protection. This is a priority task, and once it is fulfilled it will be possible to talk about the second component of the process - who exactly will produce more in Ukraine and how to strengthen the link between the Ukrainian and European defense industries.

"Ukraine is a country at war. It is not just producing in normal conditions. That is why the industry has to understand that, first, there is an opportunity; second, there is a risk; third, there is funding. Putting the three things together, to share technology. For example, you are very good at producing drones, maybe we have to learn from you. But we have capacities that could be implemented in Ukraine. We produce in Europe, but we should be able to produce in your territory - as I said - in order to save costs, to reduce delivery times and to be closer to your needs," Borrell said.

The EU-Ukraine Defense Industries Forum is taking place in Brussels on May 6. The event brought together more than 350 participants, including representatives of government organizations and European businesses. The main goal of the event is the further support and integration of the Ukrainian defense industry into the European defense industry to immediately meet Ukraine's needs in armaments and military equipment and increase the capabilities of European defense production.

Photo: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperation

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