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Germany falls short on ammo procurements, despite available resources, Spiegel

Germany falls short on ammo procurements, despite available resources, Spiegel Boris Pistorius (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius promised to prioritize the purchase of ammunition for his work, but the department spent less money on implementing this idea than initially planned, according to Der Spiegel.

"Ammunition is not enough. It is not in the Bundeswehr's warehouses, as well as in the defense campaign regarding Ukraine. Six months after taking office, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius addressed this issue and declared the purchase of artillery shells a top priority," the material states.

Last summer, Pistorius claimed that Germany should and wanted to invest over 20 billion euros in ammunition by 2031.

However, the progress of these purchases seems to have stalled. Last year, the Ministry of Defense spent less money on ammunition purchases than initially budgeted.

How much money was not spent on ammunition

Approximately 845 million euros were spent on ammunition purchases, about 280 million euros less than initially allocated in the ministry's budget.

This information is based on responses from the Ministry of Defense to written questions from CDU members of the Bundestag Ingo Gädechens, which the new agency received.

"This is alarming; everyone knows that we urgently need ammunition, but there is too little of it," criticized the speaker of the parliamentary group CDU/CSU on defense budget issues.

Gädechens accused the Defense Minister of breaking his word. He added that although Pistorius wanted to make the issue of ammunition a top priority, he achieved almost nothing.

Germany wants to increase spending on ammunition purchases

According to Gädechens, last year, the federal government even spent about 40 million euros less on ammunition than in 2022, excluding expenses for advance payments for goods not yet delivered and annual inflation.

The ministry claims that there has been a "turnaround in the trend" in ammunition purchases over the past two years. It is expected that approximately 3.5 billion euros worth of ammunition will be purchased this year.

Shells for Ukraine

Last year, in March, the defense and foreign ministers of the EU agreed on a plan for joint ammunition purchases. It envisaged providing Ukraine with 1 million shells over the next 12 months, involving seven countries.

However, already in November 2023, the EU informed members that it was unlikely to be able to deliver the promised 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine. This plan was supposed to be implemented by March 2024. However, in January of the current year, the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton assured that the bloc could still achieve its goal.

Additionally, on January 11, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the country still expected to receive a full package of artillery shells and called on EU leaders to press on this issue.