EU looks to Increase Defense and Ukraine Spending at Two Day Summit in Brussels

What Happened:

European Union leaders met in Brussels on Thursday to discuss a drastic increase in defense spending amid Russia gaining ground and European officials becoming increasingly concerned. They fear Russia will not stop, even if it wins the war.

The two-day summit also addresses other issues, including the introduction of new EU members, the war in Gaza, and immigration issues. However, Ukraine is at the forefront of the summit. “If we do not get the EU’s response right and do not give Ukraine enough support to stop Russia, we are next,” said EU Council President Charles Michel. He also urged European states to shift to a “war economy” and warned that there is a growing chance that “Europe will most likely go it alone.”

The Details:

Some officials are happy that there is a change in direction. Kristi Raik, a deputy director for Estonia’s International Center for Defense and Security Policy Center, stated, “There is a real risk that Ukraine might be defeated in this war.” “And we all agree in Europe that this means that the threat of war coming to us is actually something real, and we need to prepare for that and prevent that from happening.”

Officials are scrambling to decide the right course of action. One of the more prominent recommendations is to use the money from frozen Russian assets to buy munitions and provide aid to Ukraine. This measure was endorsed by multiple officials but is going to require a unanimous vote to pass. Members have also put pressure on the European Investment Bank to change its investment policy to allow things like munitions and weaponry.

Nations in close proximity to Russia have frequently voiced concern over European preparedness, and finally, a majority of Western Europe has echoed that concern. French President Emmanuel Macron surprised many by going so far as to suggest Western troops in Ukraine when he had previously warned against humiliating Vladimir Putin.

Some analysts have said this change in stance is necessary. French analyst Francois Heisbourg stated: “We have to stop telling the Russians we’re not going to do this, and we’re not going to do that,” he said of the Europeans. “That is strategically unwise. You never give something for nothing in strategy.” Many European leaders have realized this, and continue to promote increased defense spending to be prepared.

Even with increased spending, some are skeptical about providing more aid or promising further involvement. Germany has adopted a more cautious approach, not promising troops, but has been the second-largest provider of weapons and aid to Ukraine. It has promised another $542 million, including munitions, vehicles, and medical supplies.

What’s Next:

There is a looming fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin may keep going into Europe after Ukraine falls. Europe has continued to increase its readiness, including multiple conferences to encourage an aligned approach to the future.

As the U.S. election season approaches, many officials have not forgotten the comments made by Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has said in essence that countries that do not pay will not be helped. The Republican Party is split by pro- and anti-aid groups and has struggled to agree on the question of providing Ukraine with more money.

Ukraine itself has struggled with holding defensive positions, which has led leaders to believe that without immediate financial aid along with munitions and equipment, Ukraine will fall.

The discussion in Brussels this week will likely try to address these concerns.

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Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger
Matthew Dellinger holds a Political Science and History BS and is working towards a Masters in Public Administration. Before his time at Atlas he joined GoodPolitical to serve as a writer and contributor while also expanding his knowledge on global events. Matthew is proud to be a part of a news organization that believes in delivering truthful, unfiltered, and unbiased news to people around the world.