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Sweden contributes €30 million to Czech ammunition initiative for Ukraine

The funding for this contribution will be made within the framework of Sweden’s 15th military aid package for Ukraine.
Ukrainian soldiers carry an artillery shell.
A Ukrainian soldier carrying an artillery shell. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff
Sweden contributes €30 million to Czech ammunition initiative for Ukraine

Sweden will allocate approximately 755 million CZK (€30 million) to a Czech-led initiative aimed at ordering 800,000 155m artillery shells for Ukraine as the country faces an artillery shortage amid Russia’s ongoing invasion, the Swedish government announced on 14 March.

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. Later, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and French President Emmanuel Macron also announced their countries’ decision to join the initiative but did not disclose the future contribution amount. Recently, Norway announced the country’s decision to support the initiative with $153 million.

“The Ukrainian ammunition needs are high, especially for artillery ammunition. The Czech Republic has identified opportunities to purchase large quantities of ammunition on the world market for donation to Ukraine. The government wants to support the Czech Republic in this effort,” Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson said.

The initiative comes as a response to the EU’s failure to meet its pledge of providing Ukraine with 1 million rounds of artillery by this month while Russia continues to produce more ammunition and receive support from North Korea.

The funding for this contribution will be made within the framework of the 15th military aid package, which includes economic contributions to funds and several bilateral and multilateral donation projects established by EU and NATO countries to support Ukraine.

Sweden’s 15th military aid package is currently under consideration in the Swedish Parliament. Sweden’s contribution to the Czech initiative is contingent upon the Parliament’s approval of the government’s proposal for an additional amendment to the budget, the statement read.

On 7 March, Czech President Pavel announced that, after the Norwegian contribution, the financing for this initiative is now fully secured, thanks to pledges from 18 countries, stating that the ammunition should be delivered to Ukraine in the coming weeks. The next day, Czech national security adviser Tomáš Pojar indicated that the total cost of the Czech initiative to purchase 800,000 artillery ammunition rounds for Ukraine is not yet fully covered, suggesting that President Petr Pavel initially only considered the cost of the first delivery.

Russia’s defense industry is producing over twice as many shells per month as the US and the EU combined for Ukraine. According to NATO intelligence estimates shared with CNN, Russia is churning out around 250,000 artillery munitions monthly, or 3 million annually. In contrast, the US and European nations collectively have the capacity for only about 1.2 million shells per year destined for Ukraine’s forces.

According to the Institute for the Study of War, Ukrainian shortages of ammunition and other equipment, resulting from delays in the provision of US military assistance, may make the current Ukrainian front line more fragile than the relatively slow Russian advances in various sectors would indicate.

“An intensification of Russian offensive operations in an area where Ukrainian forces have not prioritized allocating already limited ammunition supplies could lead to a Russian breakthrough and destabilization along a previously stable sector of the frontline in a short period,” ISW said

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