EU to Send 1 Million Artillery Rounds to Ukraine Over the Next Year

EU countries on Monday agreed on a €2 billion plan to send 1 million artillery rounds to Ukraine over the next year by using their own stockpiles and via joint purchases. The plan approved by the bloc’s defense ministers was based on a proposal from EU foreign policy chief Borell to spend €1 billion on shells from stockpiles to get more supplies to Kyiv soon, and €1 billion more on joint procurement. The joint purchase will be limited to companies from the EU and Norway.

“We have reached a political consensus to send to Ukraine one million rounds of 155 mm calibre ammunition,” Estonian Defence Minister Pevkur told reporters on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting.

“There are many, many details still to (be) solved but for me, it is most important that we conclude these negotiations and it shows me one thing: If there is a will, there is a way,” said Pevkur, whose country had championed the move.

While some governments proposed that the initiative to be open to a broader market, arguing that it would help get munitions more quickly to Ukraine, others said EU money should be spent on EU companies, which would have the capacity to meet demand.

As part of the initiative, a group of 17 EU members plus Norway signed a document known as a project arrangement, setting out the terms of a joint endeavor to swiftly buy 155 mm ammunition and a longer-term program to buy other ammunition.

Such a move marks a significant step in EU integration as defense procurement in the European Union has largely been in the hands of individual member governments until now.

The joint procurement program will be supervised by EU’s European Defense Agency, which said the common approach was “the best option to achieve cost reduction from economies of scale”.

Borrell praised the ministers’ approval of the plan as a “historic decision”.

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