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Ukraine to receive 52% of EU's promised million shells by March, Borrell states

Ukraine to receive 52% of EU's promised million shells by March, Borrell states Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukraine will receive half of the promised one million artillery shells from the European Union by March 2024, according to the statement by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

He has reminded that back in March 2023, the EU promised to deliver a million artillery shells to Ukraine within one year. According to the received data, by March 2024, Ukraine will receive 524,000 shells, which is 52% of the set goal. However, Borrell also points out that not all member countries have contributed their share.

"We know that the battle is fierce in the frontline, that our Ukrainian friends need urgently more ammunition and that we are far away from the goal. However, we also knew from the start that the objective set last year was very ambitious," says Borrell.

He recalls the worldwide shortage of ammunition and supply chain issues, as well as the need for more time for new investments, which is one of the reasons for the delay.

"I passed the clear message to the member states that we need to do more and quicker. The European Defence Agency has signed 60 framework contracts with European producers in order to procure jointly 155mm calibre ammunition. We still have a spare capacity for €1.5 billion to absorb and I have encouraged EU member states to place more orders," he emphasizes.

Ammunition for Ukraine

In March 2023, EU defense and foreign ministers agreed on a plan for joint procurement of ammunition. It envisaged providing Ukraine with 1 million shells over the next 12 months, involving seven countries in particular.

However, in November, the EU informed members that it was unlikely to deliver the promised 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine. This plan needs to be fulfilled by March 2024.

At the end of November, EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, citing statistical data, stated that by spring 2024, the production capacity of defense enterprises in the EU would reach over a million artillery shells. However, there is still no decision for the transfer of ammunition to Ukraine.