Espreso. Global

Pistorius confirms EU unable to deliver promised 1 million shells to Ukraine by March 2024

14 November, 2023 Tuesday

The EU will not be able to fulfill its promise to supply one million artillery shells to Ukraine by March 2024. Now politicians are thinking about how to increase production

This was stated by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, The Telegraph reports.

"It is safe to assume that the 1 million rounds will not be reached," he told reporters before a meeting of the EU Defense Council in Brussels.

Pistorius noted that the EU is working with the arms industry to increase production, but did not specify why the bloc cannot fulfill the promise.

Earlier, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on the United News telethon that rumors about the EU's inability to fulfill its promise on ammunition are not rumors, according to Yevropeiska Pravda.

"Unfortunately, Bloomberg is telling the truth. There are questions, and we are, let's say, ringing the bells a lot and loudly," the diplomat said.

He added that the reason for this problem is not the lack of political will in the EU, but the "deplorable state of the EU’s defense industry" and "a lot of things that are not synchronized, a lot of bureaucracy."

"The European Union is working to eliminate these problems, and that is why, while in Berlin, I called on the European Union to develop a comprehensive policy in the field of defense industries," the Foreign Minister emphasized.

According to him, the EU has already begun to take certain steps to remedy the situation.

"We need faster actions and more of them and we do really appreciate the support of the European Union, but we will push them. Because, again, we have a Ukrainian infantryman in front of our eyes, and he needs ammunition," Kuleba summarized.

The provision of ammunition to Ukraine is becoming increasingly urgent as Russia has been able to increase its own production and receive supplies from North Korea.

  • 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 stockpile.
  • On May 23, 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 June 1, 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 Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP), which would increase the production of missiles and shells.
  • On July 13, 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 September 5, the European Defense Agency signed 8 framework contracts with industry for the joint purchase of 155-mm ammunition for Ukraine.
  • In early November, media reported that the EU fears that the bloc may not be able to provide Ukraine with one million rounds of ammunition by the promised deadline of March 2024.
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