The European Union aims to join forces with the bloc’s defense industry to speed up and expand production of munitions that are vital on the battlefield in Ukraine and replenish military supplies at home, its chief said on Saturday.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested at a Munich security conference that the bloc should do what it did during the pandemic to prepare for large-scale production of a COVID vaccine.
“For example, we could consider advanced purchase contracts that give the defense industry the ability to invest now in production lines to make them faster and increase the quantities they can deliver,” she said.
Von der Leyen stressed that the bloc cannot wait months and years before it can replenish its own military stockpiles or send ammunition such as 155mm artillery shells to Ukraine.
“Now is really the time to accelerate production and expand production of standardized products that Ukraine desperately needs, such as standardized ammunition,” she said.