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Estonian PM on ammunition for Ukraine: Production has tripled, but 'it is not enough'

Estonian PM on ammunition for Ukraine: Production has tripled, but 'it is not enough' Photo: Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas (Getty Images)

Europe has tripled the production of shells for Ukraine, but the goal of one million has not been reached, says Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in Brussels before the meeting of the EU Council.

She emphasized that the EU countries failed to achieve the "ambitious goal" of one million artillery ammunition for Ukraine by February.

"First, what is good out of it is that the production of ammunition has tripled in Europe. Of course, it is not enough. What it also showed is that the defense readiness of European countries is far behind of what it should be," the Prime Minister emphasized.

In her opinion, this is a clear signal to the EU what needs to be done. According to Kallas, she has been advocating for " the 2% of the GDP defense investment that every ally, at least in NATO, should do."

Kallas commented on the issue of sanctions against Russia and their circumvention, since, according to unofficial statistics, the import of microchips to the Russian Federation has increased. She emphasized that out of 20 companies that sell chips to Russians, 15 are Western companies, including three European ones.

"I think this is something that we have to really acknowledge and do something with it. Because if companies think that, you know, we will benefit from this and it doesn't matter, then actually it does matter. If everybody does their share, the breaking point for the war will be much, much closer when, you know, everybody is trying to circumvent and trying to get their own benefits out it, then the path will be much longer," she emphasized.

Million shells for Ukraine

At the beginning of May 2023, the Council of the EU approved a decision to provide Ukraine with 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. According to Bloomberg, the EU will be able to provide Ukraine with 600,000 ammunition by March.

Today, February 1, during his address to the European Council, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that Europe should not lose in global competition. He also mentioned the fact that North Korea is supplying Russia with shells.