Of the promised one million shells, only a little more than half will probably be delivered by March, EU Foreign Policy Commissioner Joep Borrell said on Wednesday on the sidelines of the defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
The new goal is to reach the million artillery shells mark at least this year. According to Mr. Borrell, member countries have promised to deliver about 630,000 more shells between March and the end of the year. Then the million mark would be exceeded.
EU countries on March 20 last year. promised to provide Ukraine, which is fighting Russian aggression, with one million artillery shells within 12 months. They were supposed to be supplied from the stockpiles of member countries, as well as through the implementation of new joint procurement projects – so that Ukraine would avoid a shortage of shells.
According to new EU data, only about 330,000 of the promised artillery shells have reached Ukraine so far. A further 200,000 should be delivered by the end of the 12-month period. Then probably a little more than 52% will be achieved. goal, Mr. Borrell said.
Five EU leaders demand an increase in arms supplies to Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and four other European leaders on Wednesday called on European Union (EU) countries to do more to supply Ukraine with much-needed weapons to resist a Russian invasion.
In a letter published in The Financial Times a day before the EU summit, the leaders admitted that the EU had “failed” to deliver a million artillery shells to Ukraine by the end of March. “However, we cannot simply renege on our promise,” wrote Scholz, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kall and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“We must renew our resolve and redouble our efforts to ensure that we maintain our support for as long as necessary,” their letter said.
Since orders placed now won’t be delivered until next year, executives stressed the importance of finding ways to speed up the delivery of the promised artillery shells, whether by donating existing stocks or through joint purchases. “The burden is so great that all states must do all they can to support Ukraine – it must continue to be a collective effort,” the leaders wrote, stressing that it was a “matter of life and death” for Ukrainian troops.
In recent weeks, O. Scholz has repeatedly called on European countries to increase arms supplies and warned that what is set for 2024 is “not enough”. Allies worry that aid from the United States, by far Ukraine’s biggest arms supplier, will dry up because Republicans have so far blocked it.