Journalists write that the plan for the purchase of ammunition for Ukraine can be signed next week if the issue of increasing production capacity is resolved.
The European Union is going to sign a joint plan for the purchase of ammunition for Ukraine next week, but the question of how to provide Kyiv with the 155-mm shells it needs this year has reached a dead end. It is reported by Bloomberg news agency.
Sources say the European Union is struggling to find a way to meet Ukraine’s urgent ammunition needs, although member states have already reached a political agreement to support Kyiv with more ammunition.
Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities said that in 2023 the Armed Forces of Ukraine will need about 1 million rounds of ammunition. Estonia has calculated that such a volume would cost about 4 billion euros. It was Estonia that was the first country to bring this issue up for discussion a month ago, offering to urgently finance a build-up of production capacity to ensure the necessary supply of ammunition this year.
According to EU calculations, the Armed Forces of Ukraine use an average of 60,000 to 210,000 shells per month. At the same time, the European defense industry can produce about 25 thousand shells over the same period.
There are currently about 15 155mm projectile manufacturers in the EU, located in 11 countries, and there is no accurate assessment of how much the industry can increase capacity over the next few months, the agency’s source said.
In March, EU defense ministers supported a proposal by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to use 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) from the European Peace Fund to immediately supply Ukraine with ammunition from existing stocks. Under Borrell’s proposal, another 1 billion euros could be used for the joint purchase of projectiles, with any additional funds to be agreed by member states.
According to the source of the publication, the EU countries have not yet announced what funding they are ready to allocate this year for the purchase of ammunition and how these funds will be structured. He also expressed concern that negotiations on this issue lacked urgency.
A number of EU countries want to see the amount of funding proportional to the size of the economy of an individual state, while others have said that contributions should be voluntary.
A political decision for EU member states to agree on the number of munitions for Ukraine is expected to be the main issue during the meeting of foreign and defense ministers next week, ahead of the leaders’ summit in Brussels.
Recall that on March 8, Lithuania called on the EU to intensify efforts to jointly purchase additional 155-mm artillery ammunition for Ukraine.
On the same day, it became known that the EU defense ministers approved a new package of military assistance to Ukraine. The amount of 2 billion euros will be divided into two parts – the first will go to the provision of weapons from the remaining stocks, and the second – to new defense orders.
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