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UPDATE 1-Germany offers to provide core of EU quick reaction force in 2025

(Adds details and background)

BERLIN, March 21 (Reuters) - Germany is ready to provide the core of the EU's new rapid reaction force in 2025, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Monday, ahead of discussions with her counterparts about the EU's security strategy expected to be agreed this week.

"I will offer that Germany can provide the military core ... for the year 2025," she told reporters as she arrived in Brussels for a meeting of EU defence and foreign ministers.

EU leaders are expected to sign off on the bloc's new security strategy, the so-called Strategic Compass, at a summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

As part of it, the EU aims to create a rapid reaction force of up to 5,000 troops, overhauling the existing EU battlegroups that the bloc has had since 2007 but never used.

The plan gained traction after European countries struggled to handle the chaotic withdrawal from Kabul in August.

"We need to become faster, in particular as we are faced with such a challenging situation at the moment," Austrian Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner said, referring to the latest tensions with Russia.

Germany approved arms supplies to Ukraine and announced a drastic increase in defence spending after Russia invaded Ukraine, marking a major shift of Berlin's foreign and security policy. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold Editing by John Chalmers)