EU Might Not Reach Target of Sending 1Mln Rounds to Ukraine by End of 2023 - Borrell
08:57 14.11.2023 (Updated: 11:06 14.11.2023)
© AP Photo / Matt Rourke155-мм артиллерийские снаряды M795 хранятся для отправки, США
© AP Photo / Matt Rourke
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - In March, the EU agreed on a 2 billion euro ($2.14 billion) plan to send 1 million rounds to Ukraine within the next 12 months through joint procurement and donations from national stockpiles. However, only about 30% of the ammunition has been delivered so far, media reported.
The European Union might not be able to meet its goal of supplying 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine by the end of 2023 as it depends on production capacity, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.
"We continue having this target [1 million rounds to Ukraine] and maybe we will not reach it by the end of the year, but it will depend on how quickly the contracts will be implemented and how quickly the factories will produce [the ammunition]," Borrell told a press conference following an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.
The bloc has been trying to fulfill its promise by asking national armies to provide ammunition from their stocks, Borrell said, adding that the EU managed to get "something more than 300,000 shots" as a result.
EU Cannot Send 1Mln Ammunition Rounds to Ukraine by March 2024, German Defense Minister Says
Moreover, Borrell's word were echoed by German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who said that the EU will not be able to fulfill its promise to supply 1 million rounds of ammunition to Ukraine by March 2024 on time.
"One million can't be achieved, we have to proceed from that given," Pistorius said upon arriving for a defense-related meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
There were opinions in the EU from the beginning that it would be impossible to deliver on this promise because of the lack of sufficient capacity to produce ammunition within the bloc, and these perceptions have proven to be correct, the German defense minister said. The EU however is trying to speed up production processes, he added.
Western countries have been providing military aid to Kiev since the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.
The Kremlin has consistently warned against continued arms deliveries to Kiev, saying it would lead to further escalation of the conflict.