Seven countries order ammunition under new EU scheme to get shells to Ukraine
Seven EU countries have ordered ammunition under the EU procurement scheme to urgently deliver artillery shells to Ukraine and replenish depleted stocks in Western warehouses
Reuters reports this with reference to the EU agency in charge.
The order, placed under contracts negotiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA), concerns 155 mm artillery shells, one of the most important munitions in Russia's war against Ukraine.
The scheme was created as part of a plan worth at least 2 billion euros launched in March to provide Ukraine with one million shells and missiles within a year. Some officials and diplomats have expressed skepticism that the target will be met, but the initiative is close to being realized.
Until now, defence procurement has largely been the preserve of the bloc's 27 individual member governments.
"Seven Member States have already placed orders for 155mm ammunition through the EDA’s fast-track procedure," the agency said in response to a Reuters question. "More orders, for instance for national replenishment purposes, could materialise in the coming weeks and months."
The EU refused to name the countries or the volume of orders, saying that much of the information is confidential. At the same time, in response to a Reuters request, Lithuania and Luxembourg said they were among the seven countries.
On April 13, the EU Council approved €1 billion in ammunition for Ukraine. On May 2 the EU prepared a plan to produce 1 million shells for Ukraine and its own stockpiles.
On May 23, EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell announced that since the beginning of the year, EU states have already provided over 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 Ukraine's army. July 7 The Council of the European Union and the Parliament agree on a draft regulation on the Ammunition Support Act (ASAP), which will increase the production of missiles and ammunition.
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, it was reported that the European Defense Agency had signed 8 framework contracts with industry for the joint purchase of 155-mm ammunition for Ukraine.