Many European countries have been caught off guard by unprecedented Russian aggression against Ukraine and, for the time being, the European states are right on their way to strengthening their defence capabilities. Flooding Ukraine with weaponry remains the top priority nowadays, precipitating worthy efforts to make this weapons transfer happen. This Info Flash seeks to outline Europe’s options to face up to challenges posed by the Kremlin in terms of its military capabilities. The IF will review the 'war-economy' dimension of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, attending to its impact on arms manufacture and sales.
On the 23rd and 24th of June, EU leaders gathered at the European Council to discuss, among others, newly formulated membership requests from Ukraine, Moldavia and Georgia. While still considered as third countries, states that fill up a membership request or obtain candidate status (as well as non-candidate third States) cannot - and should - not be entirely ousted or dismissed of hand from various EU legal frameworks and tools related to common security and defence policy (CSDP).
In the race for defence technologies, innovation is a crucial issue to ensure the operational supremacy of armies. Given the advanced breakthroughs in the field of supportive robotic technologies, interest in the integration of new technologies into the human body has rapidly increased. States are therefore engaging in plans to develop augmented soldiers in the context of a constantly evolving tech war.
Since the Federation of Russia started its aggression against Ukraine, the West and EU Member States multiplied conventional arms exports toward the continent to reinforce the Ukrainian Army’s capacities on the ground to face what appears to be the second most equipped conventional army in the world (Small arms survey, 2021).
On 5 July 2022, Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks announced on Twitter that the Baltic country would undergo a programme to reintroduce compulsory military service. The decision came in response to the growing security concerns over possible Russian aggressive conduct. According to Pabkris’ post on the popular social platform, expanding the number of effective will serve as a deterrent against potential threats coming from its eastern neighbour. From 2007, the Latvian armed forces were composed of career soldiers and part-time serving volunteers, plus a limited number of NATO troops, but now, Pabriks stresses that the system has reached “its limit of power growth”.