Murniece at EU defense ministers' meeting stresses need for rapid and substantial increase of EU support to Ukraine

  • 2023-08-31
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In her address at a meeting of the European Union's defense ministers in Toledo, Spain, on Wednesday, Latvian Defense Minister Inara Murniece (National Alliance) stressed the need to significantly increase EU support to Ukraine.

"Ambitious political decisions must be taken to rapidly and substantially increase the European Union's support to Ukraine, both in terms of military training for Ukrainian soldiers and the supply of military equipment and ammunition," the Latvian minister said.

Murniece noted that Latvia's military assistance to Ukraine has already exceeded 1 percent of GDP. Latvia is currently focusing on training Ukrainian soldiers and planning to train 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers this year, which is three times more than in 2022.

The minister called on her colleagues to assess the possibility for each member state to provide additional support to Ukraine in order to contribute to Ukraine's victory in the fight against the aggressor state.

The EU defense ministers also held an exchange of views on how to accelerate the development of the production capacity of the bloc's military industry.

"The European Union is on the right track to expand and speed up the development of the military industry. It is important that new decisions to increase production capacity in the EU are taken, considering supply chains, balancing the geographical aspect and allowing new companies to enter the market. We are currently actively working on a new initiative to set up an ammunition production facility in Latvia. This will be an important project not only for Latvia, but also for the whole European Union, and Latvia expects financial support from the European Union for its implementation," the minister said.

As reported, Murniece is in Spain on a working visit from August 29 to 30 to represent Latvia's interests at the informal meeting of EU defense ministers.

During her working visit, Murniece visited the European Union Satellite Centre in Madrid  where she took part in a board meeting to discuss the center's current activities and future development, taking into account its role in the coordination of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.