(Bloomberg) -- The European Investment Bank maintaining its top AAA credit rating is a key issue for Germany, according to a Finance Ministry official.

The option of the European Union’s lending arm to invest in defense projects will be discussed between the bloc’s finance chiefs and EIB President Nadia Calvino in Ghent, Belgium, this week, the Berlin-based offical said.

The EU is looking to jump-start its defense industry after years of underspending following the Cold War. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in November that “it is time to finally move ahead” to enhance the EIB’s support for defense despite the potential concerns among investors that such a step could spark.

The EU lender in 2022 decided to back the technology sector and civilian-security infrastructure through its Strategic European Security Initiative, which made funding available for dual-use projects with a chiefly civilian purpose.

But unlike goods with both civilian and military use, weapons and ammunition are currently on a list of excluded activities and aren’t eligible for financing.

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