RIGA - European countries should make joint procurements in defense in order to purchase armament for their defense forces and support to Ukraine, said Latvian MEP Ivars Ijabs (For Latvia's Development).
The European Commission recently decided to allocate EUR 500 million for joint defense procurements. This new instrument will motivate countries to cooperation, purchasing EU-made weapons, said Ijabs who is also a rapporteur at the the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.
According to Ijabs, the current shortage of ammunition and weapons in relation to the war in Ukraine casts light on the weak spots in Europe's defense, therefore European governments have undertaken to increase expenditure and stocks of weapons and ammunition. Meanwhile, some European companies are worried that a bulk of money will be used to purchase equipment from the US or weapons just from the large defense industries.
"Ukrainians every day spend more ammunition than Europe can produce in a week. The victory over Russia depends on capacity of military industry. Joint procurements in defense are important because they allow countries to pool resources, purchase weapons and ammunition, saving costs," the politician said.
Ijabs believes that one of the ways to solve deficit of weapons in the context of Russia's aggression is to increase EU defense budget, finance joint defense procurements. The EU should continue providing military assistance to Ukraine even though many in Western Europe still refrain from sending the most powerful weapons to Ukraine, fearing from direct conflict with Russia.