RIGA - Participating in a meeting of EU defense ministers on Wednesday, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development) encouraged the establishment of a demining training mission for Ukraine, LETA was informed by the Ministry of Defense.
Pabriks believes that a demining training mission should be set up under the EU flag for Ukraine, which would not only train Ukrainian deminers, but also provide them with the necessary equipment.
The Ministry of Defense informs that it was agreed at the meeting that the EU External Action Service will start work on the assessment of the conditions for such a mission.
At a meeting of the European Defense Agency's board, Pabriks emphasized the need for Europe to work together to address capability shortfalls in priority areas such as air defense, anti-tank systems, indirect fire support and military mobility, and to rebuild stockpiles transferred to Ukraine by member states.
"Any solution must be swift, cost-effective and use the governance tools already available to the EU. Europe's industrial capacity must also be strengthened, but this must ensure some form of 'positive discrimination' against smaller members states in supporting their industries. Security of supply in Europe needs to be strengthened, both in terms of procedures and in terms of concrete support for Member States," Pabriks said.
At a joint EU ministerial session attended by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, Pabriks expressed support for Ukraine's bid to join the EU, while expressing concern about the fate of Azov battalion soldiers after their evacuation to Russia, and announced Latvia's initiative to set up an EU demining training mission for Ukraine. Reznikov thanked Latvia for this proposal and emphasized that Ukraine needs support in training in many areas.