Press Releases Informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers: Remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

Informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers: Remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell upon arrival

Today we will continue discussing about the situation in Ukraine. Unhappily, the situation is not better. We see the continuing indiscriminate bombing of the civilians, atrocities against the prisoners of war. This nuclear gambling in the nuclear power station Zaporizhzhia is something very dangerous. So the situation on the ground continues being very bad.

Ukraine needs our support, and we will continue providing this support. Both with military capacities, and also the Ministers will discuss the idea of putting in place a high-level [EU] training mission for the Ukrainian army in order to have a more added value, and in order to be more predictable and to provide a strong support to Ukrainians.

The Defence Minister of Ukraine [Oleksii Reznikov] will be with us, will be discussing with us. This is for me the most important part of the meeting.

There are other issues. For example, how can we boost the European defence industry? How can we pull the member states buying more equipment, because we are depleting our stocks. We are providing so many capacities to Ukraine that we have to refill our stocks.  And we will discuss other issues, but these are the most important ones. 

Ukraine needs our support. We will continue supporting Ukraine with more initiatives as this training mission that the ministers will discuss.


Q. About the training mission, can you give us details?

Today is, as you know an informal meeting, so no decision can be taken, but a general, overall political agreement that is what I think we have to get today. Later the details will come. We have a – procedure a quite complex one – in order to identify the objectives and the purposes, the dimensions, the resources. But today I hope we will have a green light, a political green light for this mission.

Q. At the middle of August, you submitted a non-paper calling member states to launch this new military assistance mission. Do you have some answers from Poland or Romania that they are agreeing?

Several member states will have different ideas, but this idea of a training mission is an old idea. We had been discussing that even before the war started. So, Member States put this idea on the table. So, it is the moment to act, it is the moment to take decisions.

Q.  What type of training will you provide? What do they need?

You can imagine what kind of training. They need everything.

Q. Is there a risk that this could be escalatory towards Russia?


Q. Why not?

We are providing big amounts of military capacity. Certainly, Russia will not be happy. They are not happy with the idea that we are providing all kinds of military equipment. And we will continue providing more military equipment. How can we provide military equipment and not military training? What is the difference between the two things?

Q. Can you give us some details about the proposal? Because so far, we only know something about a training mission.

We will discuss about it. We have done a lot of training missions. Thank you.

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