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Several EU countries seek European Investment Bank funding for defense due to Russian threat

Several EU countries seek European Investment Bank funding for defense due to Russian threat Photo: 14 EU countries ask the European Investment Bank to increase aid for defense needs (Getty Images)

Germany and France, along with 12 other European Union countries, have called on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to increase funding for defense as a means of enhancing the bloc's security in the context of the threat of Russian aggression, reports Bloomberg.

On March 17th, the countries sent a letter to the President of the EIB, Nadia Calvino, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander De Croo, urging them to develop and approve a new financing strategy.

"We need to explore different possibilities that would enable the EIB to invest in defense related activities beyond existing dual-use projects. This would mean discussing and re-evaluating current definitions of dual-use projects and the list of excluded activities as well as reconsidering its defense industry lending policy and other restrictive elements," the letter stated.

The letter was signed by the leaders of Finland, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Sweden.

EU leaders will meet on March 21-22 to discuss security issues, including the role of the EIB in ensuring defense capabilities.

The agency notes that the letter comes at a time when Ukraine is trying to procure more ammunition and persuade allies to provide more assistance.

Expansion of the EU defense industry

On March 13, it became known that the European Investment Bank is considering ways to expand its support for the defense industry. The EU credit institution is in negotiations with the bloc's leadership and other interested parties to begin investing in military companies producing defense products.

On March 5, the European Commission presented the first-ever European Defense Industrial Strategy at the EU level. The program mobilizes €1.5 billion from the EU budget for the years 2025-2027.

The European Commission also wants Ukraine to participate in the proposed new schemes to increase joint procurement and production capacities.