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Czechia announces delays in ammunition supplies to Ukraine due to low quality

Czechia announces delays in ammunition supplies to Ukraine due to low quality Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Czechoslovak Group (CSG), one of Central Europe's largest ammunition suppliers, has warned that rising prices and poor quality mean that half of the shells it receives cannot be sent to Ukraine as quickly as planned, the Financial Times reports.

CSG owner and CEO Michal Strnad said that the Czech-led initiative to purchase artillery ammunition for Kyiv will start delivering shells in June.

However, he says that about 50% of the parts purchased by his company on behalf of the Czech government in countries such as Africa and Asia are not good enough to be shipped to Ukraine without additional processing. For some shells, CSG has to add missing components to its production.

Strnad says every week the price goes up, and there are big problems with components. It is not an easy job, he adds.

Nevertheless, he emphasizes that the Czech initiative remains afloat and that CSG is committed to delivering the due portion of the supply.

Strnad adds that Russia's war against Ukraine is driving up prices for the limited number of shells that can be purchased outside the EU, while there is no free ammunition in Europe.

He notes that the order books of European munitions manufacturers are full for the next eight years, depending on the type of parts, even though they are all increasing capacity. Even in the unlikely event that the war in Russia's war against Ukraine ends right now, he says, they will have a huge job to do to replenish NATO's strategic stockpiles.

Czech initiative

Czech President Petr Pavel took the initiative after the European Union failed to fulfill its promise to supply Ukraine with 1 million rounds of ammunition by the end of March 2024. He proposed purchasing ammunition from third countries, and his call was supported by Ukraine's allies.

Western partners have begun to allocate funds for the purchase of shells, which should be an important aid to Ukraine's defenders. Initially, the ammunition was expected to arrive in Kyiv in May, but for unknown reasons, it has been delayed.

The day before, Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said that only four countries had transferred funds for the purchase of ammunition for Ukraine.