European Union (EU) countries admitted on Tuesday that they are not able to provide Ukraine with the promised ammunition to help it counter Russian aggression and retake its territory. Earlier this year, EU leaders pledged to provide 1 million (artillery) shells to Ukraine’s front lines by spring next year, but the 24-nation organization is having difficulty securing the supply. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said ahead of a meeting in Brussels with EU defense and foreign ministers that this figure of 1 million would not be reached. Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said that it is necessary to increase the supply of ammunition. “Look at Russia,” he said.
They are producing more today than ever before. They are getting ammunition from North Korea. Europe cannot say that … Russia and North Korea can supply and we cannot.” Some 300,000 rounds have been supplied from the EU’s existing ammunition stockpile. At the same time, Latvia’s Defense Minister Andris Spruds stressed that the original goal should not be taken literally. He said that the number of 10 lakh goals is symbolic. Russia’s 155 mm artillery shells are playing an important role in Ukraine. EU Commissioner Thierry Breton said the industry could meet the target of 1 million shells. “But it depends on the member states,” he said. Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren said, “We have all signed the contract.
We have done joint purchasing. Therefore the industry now has to supply. It will have to take steps to produce more.” EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said that about 40 percent of production is being exported to third countries. “So, what we can do is send this production to the priority people who are Ukrainians,” he said.
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