EU countries lack weapons, says Borrell – POLITICO

The arms stocks of EU countries are severely “exhausted” following the shipment of weapons to Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned on Monday.

In a debate with EU lawmakers, the top diplomat urged member states to replenish their arsenals, saying the best way to do this is “together” as it would be “cheaper”.

Borrell also admitted that the EU should have started training Ukrainian troops a year ago when some member states called it, saying that if that had happened, “we would be in a better situation”.

Last week, an EU-level military training mission in Ukraine was discussed at an informal meeting of European defense ministers in Prague, as well as a better pooling of military equipment and resources.

In July, the EU increased funding for military support to Ukraine by €500 million.

Since the beginning of the Russian war in Ukraine, the EU has provided approximately 2.5 billion worth of military assistance to Ukraine through the so-called European Peace Facility, with some of the weapons coming from the countries’ own stockpiles.

Warnings of empty stocks also came from member countries. Last week, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Berlin “is reaching the limits of what we can give from the Bundeswehr”.

In July, Europe’s six largest countries offered no new bilateral military aid to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for World Economy.