Mitsotakis to stress importance of EU strategic autonomy by upgrading the European defence industry

Support for Ukraine, the European defence strategy and industry, the latest developments in Gaza and enlargement are expected to be the main topics of the European Council summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, according to government sources.
The same sources underlined that Greece, as one of the EU and NATO member states with the highest per capita defence spending rates in the Alliance, is playing a leading role. It is recalled that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already taken a position on the need for joint steps in EU defence procurement and for joint efforts aimed at strengthening the European defence industry. As he has pointed out, Europe needs to find a way to spend more intelligently on defence. In this context, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to emphasize that the EU must find a way for joint supplies of defense material to Ukraine with compensation to the member states for defense material of European origin.

Regarding the participation of third countries in the defence support of Ukraine, Greece’s position is that this should be done through the methods that have already been established. At the same time, the prime minister is expected to reiterate that the exclusion of defence spending in the process of calculating the excessive deficit is in the right direction.

Mitsotakis is also expected to underline that there should be a serious discussion on how European defence will be financed at a time when EU member states are required to proceed with investments in various fields.

He will also reiterate Greece’s firm position to continue supporting Ukraine, as government sources noted. In this context, the prime minister is going to inform his counterparts about his recent visit to Odessa, his discussions with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, but also the importance of the Ukrainian South and the Ukrainian sea corridor for the transfer of goods. In addition, he will inform about the missile attack during his stay in Odessa.

With reference to the latest developments in Gaza, Kyriakos Mitsotakis will reiterate the growing concern of the Greek side for the large civilian casualties and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, as government sources pointed out. He is also expected to stress the need for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and the opening of all humanitarian corridors.

Finally, he is going to emphasize that it is important to prevent further destabilization of the wider region and he will repeat that Greece is ready to contribute to any effort that will lead to the achievement of regional stability.