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EU Council President Warns: Europe must ready itself for war to ensure peace

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EU Council President Warns: Europe must ready itself for war to ensure peace

EU Council President Warns: Europe must ready itself for war to ensure peace

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  • He emphasized the need for Europe to be defense-ready and transition to a “war economy” mode.
  • Michel highlighted Europe’s lack of adequate investment in security and defense for decades.
  • He urged EU countries to ensure Ukraine receives the necessary military equipment and arms.
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On Monday, European Council President Charles Michel stated that Europe must enhance its defense capabilities and transition to a “war economy” mode in response to the threat posed by Russia.

In an op-ed published in European newspapers and the Euractiv website, Michel, who will preside over a meeting of EU leaders on Thursday to discuss support for Ukraine, it was emphasized that Europe must assume responsibility for its security and reduce reliance on support from countries such as the US.

“If we do not get the EU’s response right and do not give Ukraine enough support to stop Russia, we are next. We must therefore be defense-ready and shift to a ‘war economy’ mode,” Michel said.

“If we want peace, we must prepare for war,” he said.

Michel noted that while Europe had made strides since Moscow’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine — including a 50 percent increase in military manufacturing capacity — much more action was required. He highlighted that Europe had not invested adequately in its security and defense for decades.

Michel urged EU countries to guarantee that Ukraine receives what it needs on the battlefield — including by allocating EU funds for military equipment and utilizing windfall profits from Russia’s immobilized assets to procure arms for Ukraine.

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He urged countries to facilitate investments in defense — including by contemplating changes to the mandate of the EU lending arm, the European Investment Bank, to enable it to support Europe’s defense industry.

On Monday, EU countries approved an agreement to increase the EU’s support for Ukraine’s armed forces by 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) — amid warnings that Kyiv’s forces require more resources to hold the line against a larger Russian army, while Congress is withholding a $60 billion US aid package for Ukraine.

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