The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, reminded listeners that the EU countries have collectively transferred over €28B in military aid to Ukraine and helped train more than 40,000 soldiers, and the European defense-industrial complex has increased its capacity by 40% and by March will have transferred more than half a million artillery shells. At the same time, Von der Leyen believes that it is worth considering the defense capabilities of Ukraine as part of the larger European collective. “We have to think of the Ukrainian defense industry as a part of our own. That’s why we involved Ukraine in preparing our strategy for the defense-industrial complex,” she noted. This is the first step that should lead to Ukraine’s integration into EU defense programs – with the consent of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU when necessary. This will not only help cover Ukraine’s defense needs but will also contribute to the coordination and joint planning of our military and defense forces,” she explained.