Top EU diplomat’s comments on Ukraine’s ammunition target – Reuters
Josep Borrell says the number of shells supplied by EU states to Kyiv will likely reach one million by March 2024
The European Union will likely be able to deliver on its promise to supply Ukraine with a total of one million artillery rounds within 12 months, the bloc’s top diplomat has said. Member states have already shipped 220,000 shells of various calibers to Kyiv since March, when the pledge was made, Josep Borrell added.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell said the “the latest numbers are actually much better than what we had just 10 days ago.The official noted that member states have also supplied kyiv with 1,300 missiles since March 20.
“At this rate, we will be able to reach our goal of 1 million,“, predicted the diplomat.
According to anonymous officials quoted by the Politico media, the total value of the donations amounts to around 860 million euros (926 million dollars).
The EU has promised to reimburse around half of this sum, earmarking 1 billion euros for this purpose.
The Brussels plan consists of three stages, the current one, the first considering the allocation of ammunition from existing stocks of member states. The second phase calls on countries to contribute and jointly purchase more shells from European defense manufacturers. The final stage of the plan aims to boost the bloc’s overall capacity to produce ammunition and military equipment.
The EU has already earmarked an additional €1 billion for the second phase.
Earlier this month, Borrell revealed that “full EU military support for Ukrainehad reached 5.6 billion euros ($6 billion).
However, some senior officials, including Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur and his German colleague Boris Pistorius, expressed doubts on Monday about the ability of European arms producers to ramp up production fast enough.
Last month, the New York Times published a report claiming that Western nations were failing to supply Ukraine with the necessary quantities of arms and ammunition. The document also warned that it would take European and American industries “years to meet the demandfrom Kyiv, which isessentially limitless.
Around the same time, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba called on EU countries to speed up deliveries.
Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly warned that ever-increasing Western military support for Ukraine only serves to prolong the bloodshed and could potentially lead to a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
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