The plan of 2,000 million in ammunition for Ukraine makes its way among the Twenty-seven
“Everyone understands that “There is urgency because the whole world shares the objective of supporting Ukraine as much as possible and as quickly as possible,” summed up the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, after the meeting with the Ukraine. n informal meeting of EU defense ministers held in Stockholm this Wednesday. From the meeting, as announced, comes a “general agreement” between the Twenty-seven on the plan to accelerate the shipment and purchase of artillery ammunition for Ukraine, worth 2 billion euros, although there are “pending” fringes that will have to be finalized in the coming weeks, with the aim of closing a formal agreement at the joint meeting of ministers of exteriors and defense planned on March 20.
“We are in times of war and we have to have a war mentality. I would prefer to talk about peace but unfortunately I have to talk about ammunition because the war continues,” Borrell recalled. This means putting in place a plan to further arm Ukraine in which time is of the essence. “We have to supply faster and faster,” he added. The initiative promoted by Borrell, which has made its way among the Twenty-seven, has three lines of action, in the short, medium and long term. The first, the immediate dispatch of the ammunition available in the national reserves of the Member States, be they NATO or Soviet standard, 155 mm or 152 mm. , which it proposes to finance with a new tranche of 1,000 million euros from the Peace Support Fund (EPF).
Since the start of the war on February 24, 2022, the European Peace Fund has reimbursed Member States 450 million euros for ammunition sent to Ukraine. “The point is that the war has become a war that consumes a lot of artillery. It is an intense war with tens of thousands of shots fired every day. like this we have to expedite deliveries. Every day there is ammunition arriving in Ukraine from the Member States. The question is that you have to send more and faster. When I propose 1,000 million more, it is doubling what we have done. It is not a stratospheric figure, it is something normal”, Borrell has defended.
15 European companies
The second line of action promoted by the EU will consist of creating new companies. in the implementation of joint purchases of ammunition to replace the emptied stocks and ensure the resupply of Member States. Borrell, who proposes allocating another 1,000 million euros from the EPF for this, proposes that it be the European Defense Agency (EDA), which has accelerated procedures, who coordinates the work because it will help the organization. to reduce prices and delivery times. This type of centralized cons will also allow a signal to be given to the European industry. The third, longer-term goal aims to increase the production capacity of European industry not only to help Ukraine, but also to respond to “the massive demand of our armies”
According to the head of European diplomacy, if European governments receive guarantees that their arsenals will be replenished because European industry will increase its production capacity, then “they will be more willing to to supply aid to Ukraine& rdquor ;. The objective now is that the countries willing to participate in the joint purchases detail their needs so that the EDA estimates the amount of ammunition needed. “Once the total amount has been decided, there will be a negotiation with the 15 European companies that can produce these types of weapons. To set a price and a delivery period based on the quantity that we order and when there is an agreement they will begin to produce”, he specified without setting a date. The Spanish politician has also expressed his preference for the European industry to produce the necessary ammunition.
The meeting in Stockholm was also attended by the minister Ukrainian defense officer Oleksiy Reznikov, who has warned his country needs 90,000 to 100,000 shells a month, both 155mm and 105mm and for cannons, to “dissuade the enemy and be ready to respond with a counteroffensive.” The Estonian defense minister, Hanno Pevkur , has sided with his request, urging his colleagues to put aside the “bureaucracy” and focus on the goal. “And the goal is one million shells for Ukraine,” he recalled about Estonia's initiative to allocate 4,000 million to this goal.