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Czech-led shell initiative for Ukraine bolstered by Portugal’s €100 million pledge

Portugal joins Czech-led initiative to support Ukraine with artillery shells, pledging €100 million to provide crucial ammunition as Kyiv faces ammunition shortages, complementing military assistance including tanks and carriers provided since the Russian invasion.
Ordnance for M777 gun. Source: US Embassy in Ukraine
155mm ordnance for M777 gun. Photo: US Embassy in Ukraine
Czech-led shell initiative for Ukraine bolstered by Portugal’s €100 million pledge

According to Portugal has pledged €100 million (about $109 million) to a Czech-led initiative aimed at providing Ukraine with hundreds of thousands of artillery shells, announced by the Portugal Defense Ministry on 15 March.

This financial commitment is intended to address the critical ammunition shortages faced by Ukraine as it continues to defend against the Russian invasion. Czech President Petr Pavel had previously identified potential shell supplies outside Europe that could be sent to Ukraine once funding was secured. The Czech initiative aims to quickly deliver the largest possible quantity of ammunition of various calibers, particularly 155mm.

“Given Portugal’s commitment to support the defense of sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in accordance with internationally recognized borders, and in compliance with the United Nations Charter and international law, the Council of Ministers approved today a resolution authorizing expenditure for this purpose, up to a maximum amount of 100 million euros,” Portugal’s Defense Ministry said in its statement.

Artillery shells are essential for Ukraine’s defense, especially amid the months-long delay of US military assistance, stalled by US Congressional Republicans, which has already caused Ukraine’s shell shortage and benefitted Russia, as the Ukrainians had to withdraw from the town of Avdiivka, which remained under Ukrainian control since 2014.

Earlier, Czech PM Petr Fiala stated that in addition to the mandatory confirmed purchase of 300,000 artillery shells for Ukraine, it is possible to purchase another 200,000 rounds from third countries.

Portugal has been supporting Ukraine from the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. According to Portugal’s Defense Ministry, the Portuguese aid provided to Ukraine over the two years of the all-out war included:

  • Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks;
  • More than 40 M113 armored personnel carriers and medicalized versions of these vehicles;
  • Artillery and light ammunition;
  • Howitzers and various weapons;
  • High-speed boats and unmanned aerial systems;
  • Medical and sanitary material, as well as communications equipment;
  • Generators for electricity production;
  • Clothing, uniforms, and individual combat equipment; etc.

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