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EU urges members to work together to renew arms stockpiles

The European Union urges member countries to quickly replenish their depleted stocks of ammunition and military equipment

Many of the EU’s 27 members have sent equipment to help Ukrainian troops since the February 24 invasion of Russia. At first it was mainly ammunition, but now includes portable missiles to destroy fighter planes and tanks, as well as heavier equipment.

The executive arm of the EU, the European Commission, is offering a fund of 500 million euros ($526 million) over two years to countries willing to work in groups of at least three to replenish their stocks. Officials declined to say, for security reasons, exactly what kinds of shortages the nations have.

The commission is also ready to provide incentives to encourage countries to replace their stockpiles of Soviet-era battle tanks, heavy artillery and armored vehicles. Some have already supplied them to Ukraine, whose troops are trained to use them, and want to replace the equipment.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed major shortcomings in European military thinking and equipment. Brussels wants to encourage EU countries to strengthen their air and missile defense systems, which have been widely used in Ukraine.

The commission also aims to quickly establish a task force to work with countries to establish exactly what their military needs are and to ensure that they are not working at cross purposes when procuring equipment from short term as they respond to the security crisis triggered by the war. in Ukraine.

In the longer term, he believes countries should develop more drones and air-to-air refueling systems, modernize Europe’s arsenal of tanks and combat vehicles, boost naval capability and bolster the bloc’s cyber defense capabilities.

“Since the euro (currency) crisis in 2008, Europe has gone through a sort of silent process of disarmament. We stripped ourselves of our weapons without saying so. We reduced our military resources between 2008 and 2014 in a very shocking way,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

ABC News

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