Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
The European Union is “at the decisive moment now” for the bloc’s support to Ukraine, its Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said Wednesday.
Speaking at the EU defense ministers meeting in Stockholm, Breton urged that “it is absolutely mandatory that we move towards a sort of war economy mode in terms of supply and defense industry.”
“We need to do whatever it takes to supply Ukraine, especially with ammunitions,” he said.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, called for EU defense leaders to work on a standard procurement scheme in the short term and increase defense capacity in the long term.
In a separate interview with CNN Wednesday, Borrell’s spokesperson Peter Stano said the EU’s top diplomat proposes that the bloc spend $1 billion on joint procurement of “crucially needed” ammunition for Ukraine.
“Right now, at this particular point, the ammunition is something the Ukrainians are needing most,” Stano said.
During the meeting, Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson echoed Borrell’s called for a plan, saying, “The Ukrainians direly need the ammunition in order to continue this war. And the other aspect of it is that we have to ramp up production in Europe.”
“There are some talks about the EDA (European Defence Agency). I think it’s very important that the European Defence Agency has a coordinating role. There are also being proposals launched,” Jonson said.
Meanwhile, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur urged leaders to make sure they are not “digging into the bureaucracy,” adding that “the aim is 1,000,000 rounds for Ukraine.”
CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi contributed reporting to this post.