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EU falls short: Reuters discloses limited quantity of shells ordered for Ukraine

EU falls short: Reuters discloses limited quantity of shells ordered for Ukraine EU ordered only 480,000 shells for Ukraine (ukroboronprom)

European Union states have placed orders for only 60,000 artillery shells under the EU scheme, aimed at delivering 1 million ammunition units to Ukraine by next spring, Reuters reports.

The scheme was a centerpiece of an EU initiative to ramp up the supply of vital 155mm artillery shells to Ukraine, allowing countries to place orders with industry through contracts negotiated by the bloc's European Defence Agency (EDA).

The broader initiative, launched in March, offered various schemes to get 1 million shells and missiles to Ukraine within a year.

Together, those schemes have yielded some 480,000 munitions, according to the EU - less than half of the target.

In a sign of concern at the low volume of orders so far, a draft declaration for an EU summit next week "stresses the urgent need to accelerate the delivery of missiles and ammunition, notably under the one million rounds of artillery ammunition initiative".

The EDA did not specify the size of the latest order, but anonymous Reuters sources say that the total quantity was only 60,000 shells.

One million shells for Ukraine

At the end of last winter, the Armed Forces of Ukraine faced a shortage of artillery shells. In early May, the EU Council adopted a decision to assist Ukraine in the amount of one billion euros for joint purchases of ammunition and rockets. European countries were expected to supply Ukraine with one million shells.

Later, Bloomberg reported that the European Union was falling behind its plan to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells by March 2024. Currently, only 30% of the plan has been fulfilled.

Politico also reports that the U.S. industry is struggling to meet global demand for ammunition and other weapons, considering Russia's invasion of Ukraine.