Brussels 23.02.2023 “We will continue discussing about [Russia’s] war in Ukraine with the Ministers of Defence” said the EU top diplomat, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council, Defence.
The Foreign Affairs Council in its defence configuration is meeting today under chairmanship of Josep Borrell.
The main discussion item will be the EU support to Ukraine.
Under current affairs, Defence Ministers will observe the EU missions and operations including CSDP/CFSP activities in Africa, the EU Rapid Deployment Capacity, and PESCO.
Over a working lunch, ministers will hold an informal exchange with the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
The meeting will be preceded by the European Defence Agency Steering Board starting at 9.00.
“There are important issues. First, we have the [Steering] Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA), and we will welcome Denmark [as a] new member” the EU top diplomat continued.
“We will have a look at the new PESCO projects – 11 new PESCO projects – which is an important way of increasing the cooperation between our armies”.
“And then, after the [Steering] Board of the European Defence Agency, we will go to the Defence Ministers Council”.
“We will look at the ammunitions’ deliveries. I will give you, after the meeting, concrete data about the two tracks which are under my responsibility. I think I will be able to provide good news. Things are on track, and we are delivering, but let me give you the data after”.
“Then, we will have a look at the European Peace Facility (EPF). Altogether, at the moment thanks to the European Peace Facility, we have incentivised €10 billion of military support to Ukraine. The Member States have presented us bills [worth] €10 billion, which is much more than expected”.
“With €3.6 billion from the European Peace Facility, we have triggered €10 billion of military support”.
“And this military support has to continue. I am happy that finally the training of the pilots for the F16 [fighter jets] has started in several countries. It will take time, but the sooner the better”.
“And they opened the door for the provision of [fighter] jets. You know, it is always the same thing. We discuss, [and] at the beginning, everybody is reluctant, and at the end – with the Leopards, with the F16 – the decision comes to provide this military support because it is absolutely needed in order for the Ukrainians to continue defending [themselves]”.
“So, it is going to be a profitable meeting. I [will] give you concrete data after”.