One million shells for Ukraine: Josep Borrell revealed details of joint procurement of ammunition plan

More than 20 countries will participate in a joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine - Borrell

European Union countries on Monday, March 20, agreed on a plan of joint supplies of artillery shells to Ukraine. One million rounds of 155 mm caliber ammunition will be sent, and the plan will be operational starting in May.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced this at a press conference following a joint meeting of the EU Council with the participation of foreign and defense ministers of EU member states. He disclosed the details of the agreement.

The approved plan is based on Borrell's proposal to spend €1 billion on shells from its warehouses to form more supplies to Kyiv soon and another €1 billion on joint purchases. The new "Collaborative Procurement of Ammunition" project will be led by the European Defense Agency.

Seventeen EU countries and Norway, which has close economic ties to the bloc, will participate in the joint procurement of ammunition.

That number will soon rise to 20 or more countries, and the project itself will begin before the end of May.

"The first track [of aid to Ukraine] involves supplying ammunition from existing stockpiles. The second track is the supply of 155mm ammunition from the European [defense] industry and from Norway. For now, 17 Member States and Norway have signed the Project Arrangement of the European Defence Agency today. I know that more will join soon. For practical procedures, not everybody has been able to sign today, but I think that we will be above 20 Member States participating in this project. So, the project is well on track and contracts should be passed with the industry by the end of May," Borrell said.

He also said that during today's meeting of foreign ministers there was a video conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, who briefed European officials on the current situation and progress of the war.

"Kuleba passed again a clear message to us: 'Look, we need ammunition. We need ammunition, and we need it fast. The answer of the Council was clear: Ukraine can continue counting on the European Union. And in this regard, I am happy to announce that the Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers – together - agreed on the proposal to urgently provide artillery ammunition from existing stocks or from jointly procuring, addressing to the industry, and increasing the industrial capacity," the EU High Representative said.

Borrell noted that EU countries would have to work under very tight deadlines to implement these plans. Their goal is to provide Ukraine with 1 million pieces of artillery ammunition within one year.

"By the scope: we combine the delivery from existing stocks and joint procurement of new production. By its financial volume: we are talking about €2 billion of reimbursement. Remember that the reimbursement [covers] more or less 55%-60% maximum of the cost, so in practical terms we are talking about an expenditure which is the double of this figure," Josep Borrell added.

As OBOZREVATEL reported, on Monday, March 20, the EU foreign ministers approved a plan for the supply of ammunition to Ukraine

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