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European leaders agree to ‘substantially increase’ defense spending

European leaders agreed today to “substantially increase defense spending” with enhanced capabilities and investment in innovative technologies, a need underscored by the ongoing Russian military operation in Ukraine.

The “Declaration of Versailles”, adopted by the 27 after a two-day summit, also includes a reference to the mutual defense commitment, contemplated in article 42.7 of the EU Treaty, particularly important for Finland and Sweden, two member states that do not belong to NATO and who have recently been the target of threats from Moscow.

“Given the challenges we face and in order to better protect our citizens, and while recognizing the specific character of the security and defense policy of certain Member States, we have to invest more and better in defense capabilities and innovative technologies”, read in the declaration, which then lists the agreed measures.

The 27 agreed to “substantially increase defense spending, with a significant portion for investment, focusing on identified strategic shortcomings, and with defense capabilities developed collaboratively within the European Union.”

Source: with agencies

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