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Ammunition supply: Ukraine urges to start negotiations with third countries

Ammunition supply: Ukraine urges to start negotiations with third countries Photo: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (Getty Images)

In order for the Armed Forces to receive more ammunition from the European Union, Ukraine needs to simultaneously start negotiations with third countries that have contracted ammunition in Europe, says the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba during a joint press conference with the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell in Kyiv.

"If you ask a soldier at the front what he needs now, he will say shells. This answer was the same yesterday, a month ago, and a year ago. The scale of the war and the use of artillery by Russia has reached a level for which, let's be honest, European warehouses were not ready. We all have to rise to the challenge before us," Kuleba said.

For this, as the minister noted, "Ukraine is unprecedentedly increasing the production of projectiles for itself, and the EU is taking unprecedented measures for the production of projectiles and imports from other countries."

"We need to enter into parallel negotiations with the countries that contracted the shells in Europe and tell them: sorry, we need these shells to protect Europe. I think it will be possible to come to an agreement there and redirect these shells from third countries to Ukraine. I am grateful to Borrell, that he started talking about this option," said the head of the MFA.

Kuleba also answered whether Ukraine can equalize the artillery balance with Russia.

"Of course we can, if all these efforts are achieved. I want every Ukrainian soldier to know that every day in Kyiv, Brussels and other European capitals work is being done - how to deliver as many shells as possible to Ukraine, to this soldier," the minister emphasized.

He added that although the Ukrainian military is constantly experiencing a shortage of ammunition, Russia is not winning any victories at the front.

"Where there are no shells, we stop the Russian soldier with other available weapons. It is thanks to the heroism and creativity of our soldiers that we manage to contain Russia. But the main goal is to prevent the shell shortage from turning into a shell famine," Kuleba emphasized.

Million ammunition from EU

At the beginning of May last year, the Council of the EU approved a decision on assistance to Ukraine for one billion euros for the joint procurement of ammunition and missiles.

It was planned that European countries would provide Ukraine with one million shells by March 2024. Currently, it is known that the EU countries were not able to fully implement the plan.

Thus, according to Bloomberg, the EU will be able to provide Ukraine with 600,000 ammunition by March.

At the same time, EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said today that Ukraine would receive more than one million artillery ammunition from the European Union by the end of this year.