On 20 March, European Union foreign and defense ministers approved a €2 billion plan to boost ammunition deliveries to Ukraine, including through joint purchases, Euronews reported.
“It is a good day, today. We have reached a political agreement to send to Ukraine 1 million shells of 155 mm,” Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur told reporters.“There are many details still to solve… If there is a will, there is a way.”
Estonian PM Kaja Kallas welcomed the decision:
#Ukraine needs ammunition and has asked for it.
I proposed #EU member states jointly procure 1 million shells for Ukraine.
Glad that EU foreign and defence ministers approved the initiative today.
This helps to ramp up European defence industry and boost our security
— Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) March 20, 2023
Ukraine roughly needs one million ammunition rounds over the next year.
Earlier this month, EU top diplomat Josep Borrell unveiled the three-track plan, under which EU member states would commit €1 billion worth of ammunition from their remaining stockpiles under track one, then place joint orders for an additional €1 billion under track two.
“Joint procurement is seen as the best way to boost production in the short term and increase the long-term capacity of the European defence industry — the proposal’s third track — as quickly and as cheaply as possible,” Euronews wrote.
According to Euronews, question marks remain over whether to allow ammunition purchases from non-EU manufacturers and who should conduct negotiations for joint purchases.
The European Defence Agency is reportedly on track to place the first joint orders by late May, according to an official, which described it as “a very ambitious timeline, but at the same time realistic,” Euronews says.
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