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Latvian Defense Minister outlines steps to supply Ukraine with 1,000,000 artillery rounds

Latvian Defense Minister believes the EU can still supply Ukraine with 1 mn shells by providing more shells from own stocks, scaling up production, and procuring the shells in Europe and elsewhere.
Sweden to boost 155mm artillery ammo production for Ukraine
155mm artillery ammunition. Photo:
Latvian Defense Minister outlines steps to supply Ukraine with 1,000,000 artillery rounds

Andris Sprūds, the Defense Minister of Latvia, outlined the ways how the EU can supply Ukraine with the promised 1,000,000 artillery shells.

In March 2023, the EU had committed to supplying 1 million artillery rounds to Ukraine over a 12-month period, yet the bloc is unlikely to meet the goal.

Giving his remarks before an informal meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on 31 January, Sprūds said:

“I think there are several tracks how we can do it. Of course, we should look actively what we can provide from our stocks, […] then in a long term perspective [we should] develop our industry, our industrial capacity, and of course also we should look for joint procurement including in Europe but also beyond Europe. So there are several ways how we can provide this one million [of shells for Ukraine]. I’m very optimistic and sure that in the near time we’ll be able to put together the one million. If not immediately by the end of March, […] but certainly in the near time in the coming months,” Andris Sprūds said.

Earlier, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU could still hit goal of 1 million artillery shells for Ukraine if it redirects its exports, as 40% of EU shells are exported to third countries.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton also believed that the EU can manage to meet the deadline:

“I believe we have to have a huge defense fund to help to accelerate, even probably in the amount of €100 billion,” he claimed.

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