EU Foreign Ministers approved a plan to supply ammunition to Ukraine: what it involves
On Monday, 20 March, EU foreign ministers approved a plan for joint supplies of ammunition to Ukraine. It provides for the transfer of 1 million artillery shells to Kyiv over the course of a year.
This was announced by the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas. "I proposed that the EU member states jointly procure 1 million shells for Ukraine. Glad that the EU Foreign and Defence Ministers approved this initiative today. This helps to ramp up European defence industry and boost our security," she wrote on Twitter.
Before that, Radio Svoboda journalist Rikard Jozwiak hinted at progress in concluding the agreement. "White smoke: deal between EU foreign ministers on the ammunition plan for Ukraine".
Earlier, EU foreign ministers supported the proposal of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell to allocate €1 billion from the European Peace Fund to immediately supply the Ukrainian army with ammunition from existing stocks. Another €1 billion could be used for the joint purchase of shells, with any additional funds to be agreed by member states.
The day before, Jozwiak said that the supply plan was to be signed on March 20.
He noted Estonia's "impressive diplomatic work" in launching the initiative.
A month ago, Estonia offered to urgently finance the increase in production capacity to ensure the supply of ammunition to Ukraine.
At the time, Tallinn said that the Ukrainian army uses an average of 60,000 to 210,000 shells per month, while the European defence industry "is capable of producing only 25,000" in that period.
As OBOZREVATEL previously reported:
- EU countries are facing shortages of gunpowder, plastic explosives and TNT, which threatens to increase the production of ammunition for Ukraine. It could take about three years to ramp up production, the Financial Times reports.
- Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said earlier that Ukraine has ensured the systematic supply of ammunition to the Armed Forces from NATO countries. Contracts are being signed for the whole of 2023 to ensure that the army is provided with everything it needs to repel Russian aggression.
- According to the Financial Times, Kyiv has requested 250,000 artillery shells from the EU every month to ease the acute shortage of ammunition.
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