BRUSSELS, December 15. /TASS/. EU leaders have called to speed up the joint procurement of weapons by member states in order to replenish military reserves after the provision of military aid to Ukraine.
"The European Council calls on the [European] Commission and the European Defense Agency to intensify ongoing efforts to identify needs and to facilitate and coordinate joint procurement, in particular to replenish stocks, notably in light of the support provided to Ukraine," says the joint statement, adopted after the summit.
In addition, the EU Summit called on the European Commission to rapidly present a proposal to reinforce the capacity and resilience of the European defense technology and industrial sector. The EU leaders also underscored the importance of the "transatlantic bond" as reflected in "both the EU’s Strategic Compass and the NATO Strategic Concept."
Previously, The New York Times reported, citing NATO representatives, that NATO member states provided $40 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine, which is comparable to France’s annual budget. Meanwhile, 20 out of 30 NATO states have depleted their weapons shipment potential, with Poland and the Baltics having found themselves in a particularly dire situation. The remaining 10 member states, including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and France, have retained their ability to continue arms shipments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that arms shipments to Kiev create serious challenges: not only can small arms spread from Ukraine to neighboring states, but "more powerful means of destruction as well, including portable air defense systems and precision weapons.".