EU claims it’s now on track to get Ukraine 1M ammo rounds – POLITICO

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BRUSSELS — The EU has despatched Ukraine 220,000 rounds of ammunition since pledging in March to get the war-stricken nation 1 million shells in 12 months, placing the bloc on observe to hit its goal, prime EU diplomat Josep Borrell mentioned Tuesday. 

But questions stay about whether or not EU international locations can sustain the tempo. The ammunition contributed to date is being pulled from present stockpiles, and EU international locations will quickly have to change to collectively buying new ammo for Kyiv, whereas boosting the capability of protection industries, to proceed making donations — a more difficult prospect. 

Nonetheless, Borrell mentioned, the present totals are promising. 

“The newest figures truly are a lot better than we had just a few 10 days in the past,” he instructed reporters after a protection ministers’ assembly in Brussels, including that EU international locations had additionally despatched Ukraine 1,300 missiles because the March pledge. 

The overall worth of the donations is roughly €860 million, in accordance with officers near the file. The EU has vowed to reimburse roughly half of that worth and has put aside €1 billion for the trouble.

The donation whole represents a big leap from final week, when EU officers mentioned international locations had given Ukraine €650 million in provides beneath the plan — a mere €50 million greater than in April. 

The sooner announcement had prompted concern about whether or not the bloc was assembly its guarantees to assist preserve Ukrainian troopers stocked as they attempt to preserve Russian invaders at bay. Ukraine has persistently warned its ammunition provides are operating low because the warfare drags on. In April, Ukrainian International Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged EU international locations to hurry up their deliveries. 

Finally, the EU’s plan is to supply Ukraine with ammo and missiles in three phases. 

The present part is to easily donate any provides that international locations can spare. The second part will then see international locations band collectively and collectively purchase new ammunition for Ukraine from protection corporations, permitting for bigger and cheaper orders. The third part is geared toward increasing Europe’s general capability to supply army provides. 

Along with the €1 billion put aside for present donation reimbursements, the EU has additionally earmarked €1 billion for the upcoming joint ammo purchases. However there are monetary incentives for all three phases.

The deadline to file for donation reimbursements is the tip of Might, though officers have pressured that governments have six extra weeks to ship invoices. 

Borrell mentioned it’s not a shock that receipts are flooding in because the deadline approaches. 

“That is regular,” he mentioned. “Typically we see that the biggest quantity [of invoices] comes proper on the finish.”

And he reiterated: “At this charge, we’ll have the ability to obtain our goal of 1 million” rounds. 

Nonetheless, some diplomats doubt that Europe’s protection trade has the power to broaden manufacturing in time, regardless of fixed reassurances from Brussels. That nervousness was current on Monday as protection ministers arrived for his or her assembly. 

“To attain 1 million rounds for Ukraine, everybody must do extra,” Estonian Protection Minister Hanno Pevkur instructed reporters. 

Pevkur’s German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, equally expressed a level of skepticism.

“That continues to be to be seen, that’s one thing the producers must reply,” he mentioned. “That doesn’t trip on whether or not we need to place orders and pay for them. It solely will depend on whether or not and over what time interval it may be produced.”

The solutions will emerge quickly. EU international locations say they’re operating out of provides to donate, forcing them to quickly flip to new purchases.

“We despatched Stingers [missiles] to Ukraine even earlier than [the] warfare began,” Latvian Protection Minister Ināra Mūrniece instructed reporters. “And fairly just lately, I’ve introduced that each one our Stingers we now have left will likely be despatched to Ukraine.”


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