European Union countries sign key defence pact

The EU has taken a step towards closer defence ties with 23 states signing a landmark pact aiming to boost cooperation after Brexit and as Russia tilts to the east.

The permanent structured cooperation on defence agreement -PESCO seeks to improve EU coordination on defence and weapons systems development.

It is part of efforts led by Germany and France to reboot the European Union after Britain’s shock decision to quit and follows the announcement in June of a 5.5-billion euro European Defence Fund.

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