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Estonia found €2-3 billion in shells, missiles for Ukraine, needs funding from allies

Estonia’s Defense Minister Pevkur reveals plans to purchase 800,000 shells for Ukraine, similar to the Czech initiative if allies provide funding.
155 artillery ammunition
155 mm artillery shells. Illustrative photo:
Estonia found €2-3 billion in shells, missiles for Ukraine, needs funding from allies

Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur stated in a Postimees interview that Estonia could purchase €2-3 billion worth of artillery shells and rockets for Ukraine if allies provide the funds, which is similar to the Czech ammunition initiative. Given current prices, this amounts to 800,000-1,200,000 munitions.

With the EU’s failure to provide 1,000,000 pledged shells and the US aid stalled by the COngressional Republicans for six months, Ukraine has been suffering from shell shortage, leading to the loss of Avdiivka City and some positions across the front. Czech President Petr Pavel stated in February that Prague could source and send 500,000 155 mm and 300,000 122 mm shells to Ukraine from outside Europe after securing necessary funds from partners, with many EU countries pledging support for the initiative.

Pevkur revealed Estonia’s potential assistance at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting on 19 March, attended by NATO members and 24 other countries.

Based on shell prices, Postimees estimates that Estonia’s €2-3 billion could buy about one million shells and Grad rockets, aiding the Ukrainian army until year’s end.

Pevkur mentioned that Estonia could potentially buy shells mainly from non-European countries, with some European sources, but declined to specify due to sellers’ preferences for anonymity. He noted a race against time to secure 155 mm and 152 mm shells, as Russia is also actively searching for suppliers of the latter through Belarus.

The Estonian minister noted that the funding issue for acquiring shells involves sums between two and three billion euros, covering all calibers needed by Ukraine, including 122 mm rockets for Grad systems, 122 mm artillery shells for D-30 howitzers, and 152 mm and 155 mm shells, with a variety of options available in the global market.

Hanno Pevkur clarified that Estonia’s potential shell purchases are separate from the EU’s plan to provide Ukraine with one million shells, with about a third already supplied. He suggested that combined efforts with the Czechs, the British, and Estonia could potentially send Ukraine 2-2.5 million shells this year, matching Russian capabilities, if funding were available.

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