EU’s Promise to Provide Ammunition to Ukraine Falls Short
Will the EU be able to fulfill its promise and support Ukraine?
The European Union’s pledge to deliver 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine’s front line by early 2024 may not be fulfilled, according to German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius. EU members blame producers for the shortfall.
Earlier this year, EU leaders made a grand announcement that they would provide 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine’s front line by spring 2024. However, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius has poured cold water on this promise, stating that it is unlikely to be achieved.
During a meeting of EU defence and foreign affairs ministers in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also expressed doubts about reaching the target. He remarked, ‘So maybe by March we will not have the 1 million shots.’
Ukraine’s Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur emphasized the urgency of increasing the supply of ammunition, highlighting that Russia is producing more than ever and even obtaining shells from North Korea. He questioned why Europe cannot match Russia’s capabilities.
While around 300,000 rounds have been delivered from existing stocks in the EU, it has become increasingly difficult to source the remaining amount. Latvian Defence Minister Andris Spruds acknowledged that the goal of 1 million rounds is more symbolic than literal. He stressed the importance of ambition and aspiration.
The acquisition of 1 million shells could provide stability for Ukraine for at least six months, offering an advantage in sustained operations and flexibility on the battlefield. EU Commissioner Thierry Breton believes that the industry production target can be met if member states place their orders. However, EU members place the blame on ammunition producers, calling on them to increase production.
Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell proposed redirecting current EU exports and prioritizing Ukraine to obtain more ammunition. Approximately 40% of the production is currently being exported to third countries, which could be shifted to support Ukraine.
In conclusion, the EU’s promise to deliver 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine’s front line may not be fulfilled as initially planned. While some progress has been made with the delivery of 300,000 rounds, sourcing the remaining amount has proven challenging. EU members put the blame on ammunition producers, urging them to step up production. Suggestions have been made to redirect current exports and prioritize Ukraine for ammunition supply. However, it remains to be seen whether these measures will be enough to meet the target.
- EU leaders promised to provide 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine by spring 2024
- German Defence Minister doubts the target will be reached
- EU members put the blame on ammunition producers
- Some 300,000 rounds have been delivered, but the rest is difficult to source
The European Union’s pledge to provide ammunition to Ukraine faces obstacles as the target of 1 million rounds may not be reached. The blame falls on ammunition producers, and alternative strategies are being considered to secure the necessary supply. Will the EU be able to fulfill its promise and support Ukraine?