Kyiv will not receive the 1M promised shells from the EU on time

Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has shared that it seems unlikely that the European Union [EU] will achieve the target of providing Ukraine with a million artillery shells by March 2024. He made these remarks during a telethon. 

Ukraine expects dozens of T-72 tanks and 155mm M777 towed howitzers
Photo credit: Wikipedia

As per Kuleba, a mix of military production complications and bureaucratic hurdles are the cause of this setback. He was asked to share his thoughts on a recent report by Bloomberg. This report highlighted that the EU is not on track to meet its commitment to deliver 1 million 155mm artillery shells to Ukraine within the set timeframe. 

The Bloomberg piece shows that about 30% of the committed quantity has so far reached Ukraine. However, considering the volume of signed contracts, this plan might not be completed on schedule. 

“Bloomberg’s reporting is unfortunately accurate. We’re facing issues and, truth be told, we’re sounding all the alarms,” shared Kuleba. 

He further elaborated that there is not a lack of political determination on the EU’s part. Instead, it’s the “distressing state of the defense industry” coupled with “many misalignments and layers of bureaucracy.” 

“The EU is putting in efforts to resolve these issues. That’s why during my visit to Berlin, I appealed to the EU to devise a comprehensive policy for the defense industry,” mentioned the Foreign Affairs Minister. 

Kuleba confirms that the EU has already started taking measures to rectify the situation. 

On November 13, Josep Borrell, the head of EU diplomacy, during a press conference following the EU Foreign Ministers Council meeting, asserted that the EU has not abandoned its objective of providing Ukraine with 1 million artillery ammunitions by March 2024. 

However, he did acknowledge that the commitment might not be met as per the planned schedule. It all hinges on the pace of ammunition production in the factories. 

Borrell also revealed that the EU has concluded the initial part of the supply plan, which includes redistributing from existing European countries’ stockpiles. He estimates that Kyiv has received about 300,000 artillery shells. The focus now is on manufacturing new projectiles and thereby increasing production within EU enterprises.

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