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EU will not supply 1mn rounds to Ukraine by March, foreign minister confirms

Kuleba decried bureaucratic roadblocks and other obstacles preventing the EU from meeting its pledge of 1 million rounds for Ukraine
EU will not supply 1mn rounds to Ukraine by March, foreign minister confirms

According to statements made by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Monday, the European Union is unlikely to fulfill its commitment to provide Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells by March 2024. Kuleba cited issues with the EU’s defense industry capacity and bureaucratic obstacles as the key factors behind the delay.

“Unfortunately, Bloomberg agency is telling the truth. There are issues, and we are, so to say, ringing the alarm bells loudly,” Kuleba said during a televised interview, referencing a recent Bloomberg report on the ammunition shortfall.

The top Ukrainian diplomat clarified that the holdup was not due to a lack of political will within the EU. “The miserable state of the defense industry” and “a lot of unsynchronized things, a lot of bureaucracy” were more to blame, he said.

Kuleba stressed the urgency of the situation, noting that the ammunition is intended for Ukrainian infantry soldiers actively engaged in combat. He called on the EU to develop a “comprehensive policy in the field of defense industries” to fix the bureaucratic issues and ramp up production capacity.

The comments come as Russia has been able to increase its own munitions output and secure additional supplies from North Korea. Meanwhile, NATO is pushing its member states to overcome protectionist tendencies and standardize artillery caliber to boost production.

The European Union’s pledge to provide 1 million artillery rounds to Ukraine over a 12-month period is facing significant challenges, with only around 30% of the target delivered so far, according to Bloomberg reports. Some member states are reluctant to disclose their ammunition supplies to Ukraine, and concerns are rising as Russia boosts its own production. The Pentagon’s funding delays are also impacting US military aid to Ukraine:

EU (predictably) admits it will fail artillery shell pledge for Ukraine

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