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Bolstering Ukraine's arms production is important for EU - Borrell

Bolstering Ukraine's arms production is important for EU - Borrell Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

For the European Union (EU), it's crucial that Ukraine's arms production continues to ramp up and accelerate, citing the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, at the Ukraine-EU Defense Industry Forum.

According to Borrell, over 140 firms from 25 different countries attended the forum. The aim was to compare the capabilities of Ukrainian industry with those of Europe and explore opportunities to leverage European funding to bolster and expedite production 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," explained Borrell.

The head of European diplomacy said that this is the third meeting of the Ukraine-EU Defense Industry Forum, with previous sessions held in Ukraine and the United States. The goal of these forums is to integrate Ukrainian defense industry into the European defense ecosystem.

"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," added Borrell.

Arms production in Ukraine

Since the onset of the war, Ukraine has been strengthening its own defense-industrial complex. Significant progress has been made, particularly in drone production. According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, nearly 300,000 Ukrainians are currently employed in the defense industry. Moreover, according to Minister of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin, the defense-industrial complex has grown sixfold in just 2023 alone.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Europe must transition to wartime industry if it wishes to maintain peace on the continent. He called for a joint defense-industrial complex.