MEPs are alarmed by the weakness of European support for Ukraine
MEPs, meeting on Tuesday in Strasbourg, urged the member states of the European Union to significantly increase their military aid to Ukraine, judging that a defeat by Russia would also be that of Europe as a whole.
Elected officials will vote on Thursday for or against a non-binding draft resolution calling on the EU to redouble its efforts, but the five main groups in Parliament have already signed a common text calling on the Twenty-Seven to “keep their promises and ensure sustainable and long-term military support for Ukraine”.
Talk about a ” fatigue “ of Ukraine is “obscene”added French MEP Nathalie Loiseau (Renew Europe, liberal), co-editor of this text. “And me, if I am tired, it is by our slowness, by our delays, by our weakness in supporting them in a war that he is waging for them but also for us. »
The level of European aid is “scandalous”, launched German MEP Michael Gahler (EPP, Christian Democrat). There is no point in saying we will support the Ukrainian war effort “as long as it takes”long-term arms orders must be placed, he continued, adding that Germany must, for its part, lift its veto on the delivery of long-range Taurus missiles, requested by Ukraine.
“Ukraine needs weapons, it constantly tells us that”recalled Portuguese MEP Pedro Marques (S&D, social democrats).
Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, recalled that European aid granted to Ukraine since the launch of the Russian offensive amounted to 27 billion ‘euros. ‘euros. The EU also supplied more than 300,000 artillery shells, 3,300 missiles and a placed order for an additional 180,000 shells, she added.
Russia can, for its part, count on more than 3 million shells per year, which come from its own production and imports from North Korea, said Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt (Renew Europe).
“The truth is that we are not even capable of producing the million promised shells”he lamented, referring to the objective that the EU promised to achieve by the end of March, which already seems out of reach, according to several European officials.
The European defense industry, which has considerably reduced its capacities since the fall of the Soviet Union more than thirty years ago, is struggling to produce more munitions, essential to the Ukrainian war effort.