The EU and NATO promised on Tuesday to provide the Ukrainians with all the military means necessary to defend their homeland and talks are scheduled “next week” on the types of weapons that can be provided, the leaders of the two announced. organizations.
“Discussions are planned next week with the Ukrainians to see what kind of weapons are needed and who among the allies is able to provide them,” Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after signing the agreement. a joint declaration with the presidents of the institutions of the European Union.
These discussions will take place within the framework of the Ramstein group (the contact group on the defense of Ukraine) created by the United States, he specified. The meeting to which the Ukrainian Minister of Defense will attend will be organized in Germany, NATO has been told.
“Russia has suffered heavy losses, but it should not be underestimated. It is mobilizing more troops and equipment. It is ready to suffer to continue the war. Vladimir Putin has not changed his objective and he we must prepare to support Ukraine in the long term,” insisted Jens Stoltenberg.
“Ukraine must receive all the military equipment it needs and can use to defend its territory,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
The Europeans were the first to supply military equipment to Ukraine shortly after the start of the conflict, recalled the President of the European Council Charles Michel. “Military support must continue to ensure that Ukraine can defend itself,” said the member states’ representative.
– “Higher level” –
The Ukrainian government asks the allies for the supply of tanks, in particular the German Leopard 2s.
France, Germany and the United States have announced the sending of tanks (French AMX-10, German Marder and American Bradley) but each has a different armament and uses different ammunition.
“It’s not just about adding more air defense systems, more weapons, it’s also about making sure that the systems and weapons already provided work as they should, which means we also have to make sure that we provide the necessary ammunition, spare parts and maintenance of the systems that are already provided,” warned Jens Stoltenberg.
“The allies have drawn deep into their stocks and they must be replenished to be able to protect our territories and continue to provide support to Ukraine,” he pleaded.
In their joint declaration, the EU and NATO undertook to take their partnership “to a higher level” and to mobilize “all the combined instruments at our disposal, whether political, economic or military, to pursue our common goals”.
Of the 27 member countries of the EU, 21 are also members of NATO and two others, Finland and Sweden, presented a joint application in May to join the Alliance, abandoning decades of non-alignment. military.
“NATO and the EU play complementary, coherent and mutually reinforcing roles in supporting international peace and security,” the statement said.
For the first time, the Atlantic Alliance recognizes “the value of a stronger and more efficient European defence, which makes a positive contribution to global and transatlantic security and which is complementary and interoperable with NATO”.
“The EU’s strategic autonomy is more necessary than ever”, insisted Charles Michel, emphasizing the European Union’s desire to be “more independent” in terms of energy and “complementary to NATO for defense and security”.