(MENAFN- UkrinForm) A strategic approach to the European Union's defense industry must also look into the question of Ukraine's defense capabilities on top of its own needs.
The relevant statement was made by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the European Defence Agency (EDA) Annual Conference 2023 in Brussels, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“Strategic focus. Better rules. Dual use. And funding. These are the four main pillars of our upcoming strategy. But at the end, there are some more topics that I want to raise about the geographic scope of our work. A strategic approach to our defence industry must also look into the question of Ukraine's defence capabilities on top of our own needs. Our Strategy can only be complete if it also takes into account Ukraine's needs and Ukraine's industrial capacity,” von der Leyen said.
In her words, the first step to achieve this is to involve Ukraine in the consultation process of the Industrial Strategy. This should lead to integrating Ukraine in some of the European defense programmes, with the agreement of the European Parliament and Council, where necessary.
According to von der Leyen, this would not only help the EU to cater for Ukraine's defense needs but also encourage convergence and joint planning between the militaries and defense industries.
“Ukraine is a future member of our European Union. So it must get much closer to us and much faster. And we should use all our tools to make this happen,” von der Leyen emphasized.
A reminder that, since the Russian full-scale invasion started, the European Union and its Member States have already provided more than EUR 85 billion in political, economic, financial, humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine.
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