ua en ru

Ukrainian Foreign Minister emphasizes urgent action for Ukraine aid, not heated debates

Ukrainian Foreign Minister emphasizes urgent action for Ukraine aid, not heated debates Photo: Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

If Europe wants to restore peace, it must increase arms production and ban the export of artillery ammunition to other continents, according to Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

According to the Minister, suffering from a critical shortage of artillery shells, the Ukrainian army is unable to destroy Russian artillery and protect its military.

The fact that Ukraine is in this situation is a consequence of the fact that our allies in Europe, as well as the United States of America (USA), discussed for months before deciding to provide us with sufficient artillery ammunition.

"Because they did not accelerate their weapons production in time, they delayed the purchase of military equipment from third countries, and they exported shells produced in Europe to other parts of the world," Kuleba adds.

Because of these delays, Ukraine is cautiously optimistic about the decision taken by our allies at the Paris conference on February 26 to increase purchases of ammunition from third countries.

"We are deeply grateful for this decision. But it is not enough. There is an urgent need for decisive and systematic decisions, not just heated discussions," the Minister says.

A successful strategy, Kuleba explains, depends solely on unity between society, military and political leaders, soldiers, and allies.

"Without bold and honest answers to the questions posed at the Paris conference, there will be neither unity nor strategy," Kuleba says.

More shells for Ukraine

At the end of January 2024, Bloomberg reported that the European Union (EU) would not be able to provide Ukraine with the promised million shells by the previously agreed deadline of March 1, 2024. At the same time, the European Commissioner for Finance Johannes Hahn noted that the EU would be able to produce up to 2 million artillery rounds annually for Ukraine starting in 2025.

In March 2023, the EU defense and foreign ministers agreed on a plan for joint ammunition purchases, which provides for the provision of 1 million shells to Ukraine over the next 12 months.

On February 26, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that the country had received about 30% of the promised one million shells from the EU.

On the sidelines of the Paris conference on military aid to Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron criticized the EU's promise. As of March 1, 2024, the EU countries will have only 600,000 rounds of ammunition.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that Kyiv would receive over 1 million artillery shells by the end of this year.