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Brussels – Over 350 representatives of EU institutions, governments, as well as European and Ukrainian defense companies are today discussing in Brussels on strengthening cooperation in the defense industry between the EU and Ukraine. At the opening of the defense forum, the head of the European diplomatic service, Josep Borrell, stated that Europe “must produce more and faster”.

According to Borrell, people from more than 140 companies from 25 different countries have come to Brussels and the aim of the meeting is also to “find out the capacities of the Ukrainian and European industries”. This is the third such meeting, the first took place in Ukraine, the second in the United States. According to Czech News Agency information, representatives from První brněnská strojírna (PBS) Velká Bíteš and the Agency for Inter-governmental Defense Cooperation (AMOS) are present from the Czech Republic.

“It is necessary to find out what the opportunities are for the use of European financing to produce more and faster – preferably directly in Ukraine,” said Borrell. If Ukrainian companies can produce weapons or ammunition directly in Ukraine, it will save transportation costs, he added. “Russians are targeting critical, energy infrastructure, Ukrainian cities are under constant bombardment, civilians are dying or being injured every day. This is also because the Ukrainians lack air defense and artillery ammunition. Therefore, we must increase our capacities and deliver the military aid we promised,” Borrell told those present in the hall. Any delays, according to him, have serious consequences. “Our security is also at stake,” he added.

The head of EU diplomacy mentioned the existence of several initiatives that help Ukrainians, and the fact that the USA recently approved further military and economic aid to Kyiv. “But we too must do something, we must be more creative. This forum should result in concrete proposals on how to support Ukrainian manufacturers and innovators,” he added. The Czech Republic has long since launched an initiative aimed to provide Ukraine with artillery ammunition. Germany recently announced an initiative trying to obtain much needed air defense systems for Kyiv.