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Lithuania joins Czech-led initiative to supply shells to Ukraine

Amid slowing ammunition supply to Ukraine, Lithuania joins a crucial Czech-led initiative to supply 800,000 155mm artillery shells to Ukraine.
Ordnance for M777 gun. Source: US Embassy in Ukraine
155mm ordnance for M777 gun. Photo: US Embassy in Ukraine
Lithuania joins Czech-led initiative to supply shells to Ukraine

Lithuania will join a Czech initiative aimed at ordering 800,000 155mm artillery shells for Ukraine in the short term, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė announced on 4 March.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Czech President Petr Pavel said his country had found about 800,000 artillery shells abroad that could be sent to Ukrainian troops within a few weeks. He said financial support is needed to deliver these munitions to Ukraine. Following this proposal, Belgium announced the allocation of €200 million to the initiative, while the Netherlands pledged €250 million.

In a phone conversation with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Šimonytė emphasized the importance of this initiative, especially at a time when ammunition supply to Ukraine has slowed down.

“This is a very important initiative, especially during this period when the supply of ammunition to Ukraine has slowed down. As before, Lithuania will continue to support all forms of assistance that would increase Ukraine’s ability to effectively defend against Russian aggression, thereby defending the freedom of all of Europe,” Prime Minister Šimonyte said.

Under this initiative, participating countries will engage in joint procurement and transfer of ammunition to Ukraine, identifying possible reserves of ammunition or sources for rapid production for acquisition.

On 2 March, Bloomberg reported, citing Jan Jires, the Czech director general for defense policy and strategy, that Ukraine may receive the first batch of 800,000 shells “within weeks.”

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