Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas stressed that EU - NATO needs to take place on an equal footing for all member states, speaking after the conclusion of the Foreign Affairs Council which was held in Brussels on Tuesday in its Defence Ministers configuration.
Giorgallas noted that during his intervention he placed particular emphasis on the issue of speeding up the EU's strategy on maritime security issues, in an effort to highlight the EU's obligation to adjust its policy to protect its member states from any violations or attempts to undermine and challenge its sovereign rights.
Giorgallas highlighted the EU's obligation to adjust its policy to protect its member states from any violations or attempts to undermine and challenge its sovereign rights
Relations with NATO were discussed at the end of the meeting, in the presence of the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg. The Defence Ministers exchanged views with Stoltenberg on the situation in Ukraine, as well as areas of cooperation in areas such as maritime security and cyberspace.
During the discussion on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Giorgallas briefed his counterparts on Cyprus' assistance, in particular on the training of Ukrainian experts in explosive ordnance disposal and demining, which is being conducted in Cyprus in the framework of the EUMAM Ukraine (EU Military Assistance Mission).
Speaking during the meeting of the European Defence Agency's Board of Directors, Giorgallas welcomed the work of the Agency and its leading role in the implementation of the joint defence equipment procurement programme, in which the Republic of Cyprus participates.
Finally, the Defence Minister informed the partners that the Defence budget in Cyprus is maintained at a high level of 2% of GDP.
"A significant share is allocated for armament and capability development programmes, thus supporting the domestic and European defence industry," he added according to a press release.