During a question and answer session with Members of the European Parliament in Brussels on 21 November, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton shared insights on the EU’s pledge to supply Ukraine with 1 million rounds of ammunition by March 2024. Breton attributed his assessment to his visits to military-industrial firms across 15 EU member states.
Breton has stated that by spring 2024, EU defense companies are expected to achieve a production capacity of 1 million artillery shells annually. Furthermore, he projected that by the end of the following year, the production rate could increase to between 1.3 and 1.4 million shells per year, DW reports.
At the same time, according to Breton, “the problem lies in the situation with contracts in general,” as about 40% of production is delivered outside Europe to third countries.
Thierry Breton has suggested that for the entire quantity of produced ammunition to be delivered to Ukraine, EU member states must prioritize Ukrainian needs in their production schedules. However, he noted that the EU Council has not endorsed this proposal. Additionally, he mentioned that EU countries are currently not signing a sufficient number of contracts for shell production.
“We are building the European defense market step by step. Signing contracts will allow us to accelerate our deliveries to Ukraine,” Breton emphasized.
According to him, production is accelerating, and the EU can quickly create additional capacity, but political will must come first for supplies to Ukraine.
Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrelll proposed the same redirection of ammunition exports to Ukraine.
- Borrelll: EU could achieve 1 mn artillery goal for Ukraine by redirecting exports
- North Korea supplies Russia with full range of artillery ammo, including gun and mortar shells, rockets
- EU will not supply 1mn rounds to Ukraine by March, foreign minister confirms
- Lithuania: EU supplied Ukraine with only 300,000 shells, while DPRK already sent 350,000 to Russia
- Ukraine finally launches domestic ammunition production. How will this impact the war?
- In 2023 Ukraine increased ammunition production tenfold, but this is not enough — Minister
- Ukraine’s ammo production surges but still lags behind consumption
- Denmark purchases facility to restart domestic ammunition production
- German arms company secures multi-million order to supply ammo to Ukraine