EU may not be able to produce promised one million munitions for Ukraine in time - media
The European Union fears that the bloc may not be able to provide Ukraine with a million rounds of ammunition as promised - by March 2024
This was reported on the rights of anonymity by several European diplomats who were not authorised to comment to the media, Radio Liberty reports.
Since February 2023, Ukraine has received about 300,000 artillery rounds, which is 30% of the target of 1 million rounds for Ukraine, a senior EU official confirmed, indicating that the pace is not appropriate.
"The process is not moving as fast as we had hoped," said one diplomat.
Another insisted that "it was a very ambitious goal from the beginning," while another noted that at the time of the decision, there were doubts about the rationality of such a goal.
"It was Estonia's proposal to name a number and say 'one million'. I mean, it could have also been 800,000 or 1.1 million or whatever. They said, yeah, well, you know, it should look like something that politicians can sell... And I remember asking if it was really wise to give an exact number at the same time when you don't know if you can fulfil that promise, when it might take longer," one of the interlocutors told Radio Liberty.
At the same time, the diplomats acknowledged that there is still time: new contracts for the production of ammunition are being signed, and the pace is increasing. The European Defence Agency is successfully cooperating with Denmark, the Netherlands and Estonia in this matter.
"We have seven member states placing orders or signing specific contracts through the agency with the industry... I can say for sure that not only have contracts been signed, but orders have been placed, which means that deliveries will take place," said a senior official from European institutions.
The ambitious plan was necessary to try to make a real difference, insisted one of the diplomats, and called for waiting until the end of March to be able to conclude whether the EU had managed to deliver the ammunition on time or not.
The status of military aid to Ukraine will be discussed in more detail in Brussels on Tuesday 14 November during a meeting of EU defence ministers.
- On 13 April, the EU Council approved the allocation of €1bn for ammunition for Ukraine. On May 2, The EU prepares a plan to produce 1 million shells for Ukraine and its own stockpiles.
- On 23 May, EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell announced that since the beginning of the year, EU states have already provided more than one-fifth of the one million artillery rounds and missiles to Ukraine as part of an initiative to provide Ukraine with one million rounds.
- On 1 June, the European Parliament supported a bill to increase European production of ammunition and missiles to support the Ukrainian army.
- On July 7, the Council of the European Union and the Parliament agreed on a draft regulation on the Ammunition Support Act (ASAP), which will increase the production of missiles and BCs.
- On 13 July, the European Parliament approved plans to increase the production of ammunition and missiles in the EU to overcome the current shortage due to supplies to Ukraine.
- On 5 September, it became known that the European Defence Agency had signed 8 framework contracts with industry for the joint purchase of 155 mm ammunition for Ukraine.