European Commission suggests holding defence industry forum with Ukraine

Tuesday, 5 March 2024

The European Commission has proposed holding a defence industry forum with Ukraine this year.

As reported by Interfax-Ukraine, according to an unnamed senior EU official, the corresponding proposal was outlined in the European Defence Industrial Strategy, which was approved by the College of Commissioners in Brussels on Tuesday, along with another document, the European Defence Investment Programme.

"In this strategy, we are also looking into how to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine, particularly in the defence industry. One of the proposals we have developed is to hold a defence industry forum with Ukraine later this year," he said in a conversation with reporters.

The senior official stated that the strategies "primarily concern the strengthening of the European defence technological and industrial base."


He went on to say that the document includes a section on partnership, "and there is no other partner except Ukraine, which in this strategy is given so much space and attention."

"Of course, there is a legal point at which there is a difference between Ukraine and a member state, or even between Ukraine and Norway, which is an associated member state, but I believe that within the existing legal constraints, the Commission has gone as far as is legally possible by integrating Ukraine into these programmes," the source said.

According to the official, according to the approved documents, Ukraine as a "quasi-member of the European Union" can actually participate in many activities enabled by new tools.

"This is the first element; Ukraine may also receive some funding... There are numerous activities underway to ensure Ukraine's participation in innovation as well. For example, the announcement of the opening of an innovative office in Kyiv is a sign of ambition, that is, to unite with Ukrainians in order to do much more," the high-ranking official concluded.

The first-ever European Defence Industrial Strategy at EU level, which envisions close involvement of Ukraine, was presented by the European Commission on 5 March.

The EU is considering creating a separate position of European Commissioner for Defence.

Earlier, it was reported that the Czech initiative to procure 800,000 shells for Ukraine outside the EU, which is financed jointly by a number of states, will be able to make first deliveries to Kyiv in a few weeks.

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