EU munitions producers should reconsider their export plans to help Ukraine — Borrell
There is no shortage of production capacity in the EU, but ammunition manufacturers are focused on other markets, not the Ukrainian one. This need to be changed to help Ukraine
This was stated by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on November 14 before a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels to discuss progress in supplying one million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine over the course of the year, Radio Liberty reports.
"About 40% of our products are exported to third countries. So, there is no shortage of production capacity, the problem is that they send their products to other markets. Therefore, we may need to try to make this production a priority for Ukraine," Borrell said.
Speaking about the progress in the plan to supply Ukraine with one million rounds of ammunition by the end of March 2024, Borrell noted that the first stage of the plan has already been completed.
"The first stage involved the provision of existing stocks by the armies, and it has already been completed. And here we have achieved what we expected - over 300,000 shells have been provided," Borrell said.
Now, the supply depends on new production, which is linked to contracts signed by member states with manufacturers, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy noted.
On April 13, the EU Council approved the allocation of €1 billion for ammunition for Ukraine. On May 2, the EU prepared a plan to produce 1 million shells for Ukraine and its own stockpiles.