EU countries are running out of weapons, says Borrell

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EU countries’ stocks of weapons are severely “depleted” in the wake of sending arms to Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned Monday.

During a debate with EU lawmakers, the top diplomat urged member states to replenish their arsenals, saying that the best way of doing so is “together,” because that would “be cheaper.”

Borrell also admitted that the EU should have begun training Ukrainian troops a year ago when some member states called for it, saying if that had happened, “we would be in a better situation.”

Last week, an EU-level military training mission in Ukraine was discussed at an informal meeting of European defense ministers in Prague, as well as better pooling of military equipment and resources.

In July, the EU increased military support funding to Ukraine by €500 million.

Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the EU has provided about €2.5 billion worth of military assistance to Ukraine through the so-called European Peace Facility, with some of the weapons coming from the countries’ own stocks.

Warnings about empty stocks have also come from member countries. Last week, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Berlin is “reaching the limits of what we can give out of the Bundeswehr.”

In July, Europe’s six largest countries offered no new bilateral military aid to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.