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EU may provide Ukraine with only 600 thousand shells by March - Bloomberg

EU may provide Ukraine with only 600 thousand shells by March - Bloomberg The EU can provide Ukraine with only 600,000, not a million, rounds by March 1 (Photo: facebook com GeneralStaff ua)

The European Union will not be able to provide the promised one million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine by the previously set deadline of March 1, 2024. By then, EU countries will only have accumulated around 600,000 rounds, Bloomberg reports.

Diplomats state that "European allies will fall far short of the 1 million rounds they had promised to deliver by March 1," providing only about 600,000 rounds by this deadline due to constant production delays and concerns about depleting reserves.

"Defense ministers meeting in Brussels this week may seek to count other supplies to boost the total, but still won't reach the 1 million goal, which was set last year," the diplomats stated.

If Ukrainian forces lack ammunition to sustain pressure, "Russia can continue firing artillery as their infantry attacks Ukrainian positions," said Ann Marie Dailey, a researcher at Rand Corp. and an officer in the US Army Reserve. "That's not a fair fight for the Ukrainian defenders."

Ammunition for Ukraine

In March 2023, EU defense and foreign ministers agreed on a plan for joint ammunition purchases. It envisages providing Ukraine with 1 million rounds over the next 12 months, involving seven countries.

However, by November, the EU informed members that it was unlikely to be able to transfer the promised 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine. This plan was supposed to be implemented by March 2024.

At the end of November, European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, citing statistical data, stated that by spring 2024, the production capacity of defense enterprises in the EU would exceed one million artillery shells. However, the transfer of ammunition to Ukraine requires a corresponding decision, which has not yet been made.