EU to speed up deliveries of howitzer shells to Ukraine – WP

Alexander Topchy19:23, 02.03.23

EU member states that promptly provide ammunition will receive guaranteed fast compensation and a high amount of reimbursement.

European Union and member state officials are discussing plans for an additional billion euros, as well as the creation of a joint procurement scheme to speed up the supply of howitzer artillery shells . Ukraine is facing a shortage of ammunition, which is critical on the battlefield to counter Russian forces.https://images.

As The Washington Post writes , citing an EU official familiar with the project, the priority now is to ensure the rapid delivery of 155-mm artillery shells to the Ukrainian armed forces.

The EU is helping Ukraine through its European Peace Fund, a fund that is used to reimburse member countries that provide arms, ammunition and military support to Ukraine. Under the latest proposal, Members that provide ammunition immediately will be guaranteed fast compensation and a high amount of reimbursement.

To finance the project, Member States will need to use an additional billion euros after they already agreed in December to replenish the European Peace Fund by another 2 billion euros, with the possibility of an additional 3.5 billion.

The EU will also encourage third countries to join the fund, the official said: “We are in talks with the Norwegians, maybe the Canadians are interested.”

In parallel, the European Defense Agency will consolidate resupply requests from Member States and conduct an accelerated process of direct negotiations with industrial ammunition suppliers in Europe.

A total of 12 companies in nine member countries produce 155mm ammunition, the official said. The European Commission will encourage them to ramp up production with guarantees of long-term demand, which will make the project interesting for them, the official said.

The plan will be discussed by EU defense ministers next week before foreign and defense ministers consider it at a meeting on March 20. Then EU leaders can approve it during the summit in Brussels on March 23-24.

Armament for Ukraine – what is known

As UNIAN reported earlier, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced her intention to increase the production of ammunition to supply Ukraine this spring . The EC also plans to replenish its own stocks of ammunition in warehouses in the EU. It is noted that the EU plans to cover the costs of increasing the production and supply of 155-mm artillery shells to Ukraine with funds from the European Peace Fund (EPF).

Earlier, the intention to increase the production of 155-mm shells for Ukraine was announced in Washington. In particular, the Pentagon will increase the production of shells by 500%. This can be done by expanding the capacity of existing plants, as well as attracting new manufacturers.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previously noted the importance of supporting Ukraine with the supply of shells and weapons, as Ukraine and the Russian Federation are waging a war of attrition .

(C)UNIAN 2023


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