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Three EU countries block decision to purchase ammunition for Ukraine outside bloc

Three EU countries block decision to purchase ammunition for Ukraine outside bloc Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

The European Union is considering ways to alleviate Ukraine's direct ammunition deficit by utilizing bloc funds for joint procurement of munitions on the global market, according to Politico.

However, according to three EU diplomats, a small group of European countries led by France is blocking attempts to use EU funds for ammunition purchases outside the bloc. This is partly due to the need for European arms manufacturers to secure orders to justify increased production.

Earlier this week, at a meeting of the EU Policy and Security Committee, most EU countries expressed support for allowing the use of EU funds to purchase munitions manufactured outside the EU as an emergency measure to assist Ukraine, diplomats disclosed. However, France, Greece, and Cyprus objected.

This comes despite a high-ranking French official stating at the end of January that France would permit purchases from outside the EU if the bloc fails to fulfill its task of supplying 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine by March, which it will.

France also refrains from disclosing the total amount of its deliveries to Ukraine, despite pressure from Germany.

Ramping up ammunition production

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas recently said that Europe has tripled its production of munitions for Ukraine. However, the goal of reaching one million has yet to be achieved.

Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has indicated that Poland is considering providing a larger quantity of ammunition to aid Ukraine.

Norway, on the other hand, has announced an allocation of over $90 million to increase ammunition production and develop the country's defense industry potential.