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EU urged to embrace ‘war economy’ — RT World News

Bloc is currently unable to adequately arm itself or Ukraine, says senior MEP

The European Union should put its economy back on a war footing amid the conflict in Ukraine, Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), suggested on Thursday. He said the move was necessary to boost the bloc’s defense potential and that of Kyiv.

Speaking to the newspapers of the Funke media group, Weber called for the reorganization of the EU arms industry. MP believes bloc needs “a kind of war economy… in order to be able to guarantee stability and security”.

“European states are currently unable to supply the necessary armaments quickly enough, neither for our own defense nor for Ukraine”, he lamented. To remedy the situation, according to Weber, the EU should “innovate”, pointing out that complex allocation structures don’t work as they should.

The MEP pointed out that Germany created a special defense fund of 100 billion euros ($109 billion) amid the Ukraine conflict, but “Almost nothing happens because the bureaucracy is crippling.” “A year after the start of the war, the arms companies have received practically no orders”, he added.

His comments come after the United States and Germany on Wednesday approved the delivery of 31 M1 Abrams tanks and 14 Leopard 2 tanks respectively to Kyiv. However, the decision comes amid widespread warnings from EU officials that the bloc’s arms stocks are running low.

Last month, Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said the Ukrainian conflict had become “a rude awakening” for the bloc’s policymakers and its military industry, which has been underfunded for years.

Military aid to Ukraine comes from army stocks and “everyone agrees that this stock quickly ran out because it was almost empty”, he admitted at the time.

Russia has repeatedly warned the West against supplying arms to Ukraine, arguing that this will only prolong the conflict but not change its outcome. On Wednesday, commenting on Western tank expeditions, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov reiterated that this armor “would burn like [did] the rest. »

“They [tanks] are quite expensive, and this will fall and falls on the shoulders, in the first place, of European taxpayers”, the spokesman said, suggesting Washington would likely benefit financially from the deliveries.

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