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Jul 9, 2024, 8:53pm EDT

Future of Europe’s security will be decided in Ukraine, EU’s top diplomat warns

Josep Borrell
Johanna Geron/Reuters
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The News

The future of Europe’s security will be determined in Ukraine, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell said at an event in Washington, DC during the NATO summit.

“We know that if we allow Russia to turn Ukraine into a second Belarus, and put a puppet government in Kyiv, we will pay a much higher price later. That Ukraine prevails is an existential requirement for our security,” Borrell said at the EU Defense Night, an event co-hosted by Semafor.

Borrell said the EU is working to rapidly increase its defense industry’s output and provide the military equipment that Ukraine and Europe needs to defend itself. “In one year, we have multiplied by two our capacity for producing ammunition, and by the end of this year it will be three times bigger.”

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Borrell also said that Europe’s defense spending has increased by 30% in the last three years, although a NATO official at an earlier briefing during the summit put it differently, noting that the increases in spending this year amounted to “adding France and Norway” to the alliance.

As Europe pushes to do more for Ukraine, Borrell also stressed that the US has to keep doing its part to support Ukraine, too. The six months Congress spent arguing about whether to pass a supplemental aid package for Ukraine came “with a bill in terms of human lives,” and “a bill in terms of weakening the capacity of Ukraine to defend itself,” Borrell said.

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The NATO alliance expects all member countries to put 2% of their budget toward defense spending, but the reality is more piecemeal.

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Western countries have long struggled to ramp up their defense industries, and the bloc’s previous ammunition production targets have fallen well short of international expectations.

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