Ināra Mūrniece: European Union must step up military support for Ukraine

05/23/2023 - 17:01
International cooperation
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Media Relations Section

On Tuesday, 23 May, Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece attended the European Union's (EU) Foreign Affairs Council in its defence configuration in Brussels. During the meeting of EU’s defence ministers, Ināra Mūrniece stressed the need to step up EU’s military support for Ukraine.

EU’s defence ministers discussed current priorities within common defence and security policy (CDSP), especially situation in Ukraine and EU’s initiatives supporting Ukraine – European Peace Facility funding, EU’s Collaborative Ammunition Procurement and progress with European Union Assistance Mission Ukraine (EUMAM).

'European Union must step up its support for Ukraine and show more solidarity to secure country’s victory on the battlefield. European Peace Facility has been instrumental in achieving better defence capabilities that Ukrainian army can now use to protect their country and civilians against Russia’s military aggression. However, there is more to be done. Ukrainian armed forces and people are fighting not only for their own survival but also lasting democracy and rule of law in all Europe. Latvia will therefore support increased funding for the European Peace Facility and allocation of additional funding for initiatives in Ukraine, especially those that focus on training of troops and supply of necessary military equipment,’ Minister Mūrniece told other defence ministers.

During the working lunch with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, which followed the formal session of EU ministers, Minister Mūrniece and other EU defence ministers discussed current situation in Ukraine and cooperation between the European Union and NATO.

Minister also attended the meeting of European Defence Agency Steering Board, which was held parallel to meeting of defence ministers, to discuss how Russian invasion of Ukraine has affected EU’s defence capabilities and future development of defence industry.

Russia-Ukraine war has clearly shown that Europe lacks adequate defence-industrial capacity, said Ināra Mūrniece during the meeting. That is why Latvia supports European Commission’s proposal to develop new legal framework fostering development of EU’s defence-industrial capacity. 

‘We expect European Union to use this support instrument to strengthen and harmonise defence industries across different member states, providing also more security to supply chains and Europe as a whole,’ defence minister said. She also told colleagues about Estonia’s and Latvia’s joint procurement of air defence systems from European manufacturers, underlining that such common initiatives will drive Europe’s defence industry forward and should be broadly encouraged by the European Union.

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Roberts Skraučs
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