Europe fails to 'step up to war economy' - EU's military chief in Vilnius

  • 2022-12-09
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Europe failed to switch to a military economy at the right time, which is delaying the acquisition of the necessary weapons, General Robert Brieger, chairman of the EU Military Committee, said in Vilnius on Friday.

"We didn't step up to a war economy; we are still in modus oriented to peace time conditions," Brieger told reporters in the Lithuanian capital.

"Our society have to recognize that the times have changed and we have to intensify our industrial capability," he said.

The general was speaking a day after EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Russia's war on Ukraine has depleted the bloc's "military stockpiles" and showed that it lacks "critical defense capabilities".

Brieger said that EU-level efforts are being made "to identify gaps in our capacity and gradually fill them".

"For example, Europe lacks strategic transport; there are needs for space technology; there are needs for strategic intelligence," he said.

"The procedure should be if Lithuania donate tanks to Ukraine, there should be a logistic support in order to replace these things with new ones from the European industry," he said.

Lithuania's Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupsys said that Lithuania and other European countries had paid too little attention to deterring Russia in recent years.

According to Rupsys, the bloc should look for solutions to boost military production.

"Within the EU framework, we should talk about military equipment procurement procedures, he said. "We should find a formula so that when we purchase military equipment, we should apply procedures adapted for today."

Since the start of Russia's military invasion in late February, Ukraine's European allies have provided it with about 1.9 billion euros in various forms of assistance.