Estonian PM: EU should tell defense industry to produce more for Ukraine

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) upon arrival at the Special European Council in Brussels on Thursday. February 9, 2023.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) upon arrival at the Special European Council in Brussels on Thursday. February 9, 2023. Source: European Council

The EU should give the European defense industry a "clear signal" to produce more and stressed that military aid to Ukraine must be sped up, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Thursday.

"First of all, it's very important that we speed up military aid to Ukraine," Kallas told reporters upon arrival at the Special European Council in Brussels. "I think that all of us looked to the warehouses for what we have, but we should do more. And we should give a clear signal to the European defense industry to produce more."

The Estonian prime minister brought up possibly using a similar mechanism to that used in procuring COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting that EU countries provide the funds, the European Commission procure the military aid and the aid then be sent directly to Ukraine.

"Because the price goes up with every delay — with every hesitation — and that could speed up the process so that Ukraine would get the military aid in months, not in years," she emphasized.

A Special European Council was convened in Brussels for Thursday and Friday, on the agenda of which are Russia's war in Ukraine, EU support to Ukraine, the economy as well as migration.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in person for the summit on Thursday as well.

Estonia's objectives for Thursday and Friday's European Council include proceeding with the establishment of a special international tribunal to handle Russia's crime of aggression against Ukraine, a European-level solution for utilizing frozen Russian assets to cover damages caused by the latter's war in Ukraine as well as increasing military aid to Ukraine and boosting the production capacity of the European defense industry.

Click here for more information regarding this week's Special European Council and its agenda.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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