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Alarm signal from the head of EU diplomacy: Stocks of


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European stockpiles of arms and military equipment are running low as EU member states make new efforts to send military aid to Ukraine, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell warned on Monday, reiterating his the call for better and more efficient coordination of the supply of the war-torn country by the European states, writes the publication Euractiv.com.

“The military stocks of most member states were – I wouldn’t say exactly depleted, but used to a high extent – because we gave a lot of combat capability to the Ukrainians. Stocks must be restored, and together we will be able to do it better and cheaper,” said Borrell during a debate with MEPs in the European Parliament.

To ensure faster delivery, much of the weaponry the Europeans are currently providing to Ukraine comes from the countries’ own stockpiles, with no stockpiles built specifically for delivery to Kyiv. As a result, some Member States face difficulties related to the speed of (re)supplying their own stockpiles of armaments and military equipment.

Borrell’s call comes a week after EU defense ministers discussed in Prague plans and methods to facilitate the more efficient use and allocation of military resources to the effort to support Ukraine.

At the same time, Borrell also voiced criticism of certain member states, which he did not name, because they decided too late to approve the training of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Borrell also admitted that the EU should have followed the advice of states demanding Ukrainian training before the Russian invasion, stating that if this had happened, “we would be in a better situation now”.

Last week, EU defense ministers backed the start of work on the establishment of an EU military training mission for Ukrainian forces to complement current individual EU countries’ efforts in this regard.

According to sources at the level of the EU Executive, quoted by Euractiv, Kiev had requested the military training program since last summer, through a letter addressed directly to Borrell, and the diplomatic service of the EU elaborated several options, without reaching a decision.

In February, shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, relevant EU ministers had reached a preliminary agreement to carry out such a military training mission in Ukraine, but the progress of the talks was halted by subsequent events.

“If the member states agree, we could launch this mission in the coming weeks,” he added.

In July, the EU increased military support funding for Ukraine by 500 million euros. Since the beginning of the war, the Union has provided Ukraine with military assistance worth around 2.5 billion euros, through the so-called European Peace Facility, and some of the weapons have come from member countries’ own stockpiles.

Warnings about emptying the weapons stockpile also came from some leaders. Last week, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Berlin is “reaching the limits of what it can offer Ukraine”.

In fact, since July, the six largest countries in Europe have not announced any new military aid to Kiev, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, quoted by the publication Politico.