EU Commission chief urges all countries to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons, security guarantees from NATO

31 May, 05:00 PM
Ursula von der Leyen (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Ursula von der Leyen (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko)

The European Union calls on all countries to transfer long-range weapons to Ukraine if they can, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Bratislava, Slovakia, on May 31.

“The immediate need — you know it — is the military assistance to sustain the efforts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” she said at the GLOBSEC 2023 Bratislava Forum

“This is why we have just proposed an ammunition production act — we call it ASAP. We want to push our defense industry to ramp up production of badly needed 155-millimetre and 152-millimetre artillery shells. And those who can, should provide long-range artillery and weapons systems that can help Ukraine level the battlefield gap against the invading forces.”

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By the end of the year, EU member states will have trained 30,000 servicemen and servicewomen, the official added.

Von der Leyen suggested NATO members could give Ukraine security guarantees on the way to NATO membership through what she described as member states offering Ukraine deterrence by denial, UK newspaper the Guardian reported.

She said NATO members could provide a collection of guarantees that together represent deterrence by denial “through military equipment that can fortify Ukraine against future Russian attacks.”

What was important, she said, was clarity that “Ukraine’s friends would be there for the long term.”

Broadly, deterrence by denial means convincing an adversary that “an attack will not succeed because the defenses are strong,” while deterrence by retaliation, NATO’s previous concept, means threatening an adversary to “retaliate for an attack if it is carried out” to force the adversary to refrain from it.

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