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EU countries to produce 1.3 million shells by end of the year - EU Commissioner

EU countries to produce 1.3 million shells by end of the year - EU Commissioner EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton (photo: Getty Images)

In 2024, European Union countries will manufacture between 1.3 to 1.4 million projectiles, with the majority destined for Ukraine as military aid, states Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market.

Breton mentioned at a joint press conference with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in Tallinn that they planned to continue augmenting their production capacities, likely reaching 1.3-1.4 million pieces by the end of the current year. He also stated their intention to substantially raise these capacities in 2025.

According to him, EU countries will reach the goal of producing 1 million projectiles per year in March or April 2024.

He added that there is a decisive moment for collective security in Europe, emphasizing that in the aggressive war Russia is waging in Ukraine, Europe must persist in supporting Ukraine with all available means.

Breton also noted that the majority of the projectiles produced in 2024 will be sent to Ukraine, as supporting the country at war is a priority.

EU-provided shells for Ukraine

In March of last year, the defense and foreign affairs ministers of the EU agreed on a plan for joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine. It envisages providing the Armed Forces of Ukraine with 1 million projectiles over the next 12 months. Seven countries were involved in the plan.

However, by November 2023, the EU informed its members that it was unlikely to be able to deliver the promised 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine. This plan is supposed to be executed by March 2024.

Later, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the country still expects to receive the full package of artillery shells and urged pressing EU leaders on this matter.