The EU will miss its target of supplying Ukraine with one million artillery shells and missiles by next March. Germany sends new military aid to Ukraine.
EU to miss target of supplying Ukraine with one million artillery shells
The EU will miss its target of supplying Ukraine with one million artillery shells and missiles by next March, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at the start of Tuesday’s summit of EU defense ministers.
“We have to assume that the one million target will not be achieved,” he said. “There were voices that warned: ‘Be careful. One million is easy to decide, the money is available, but the production must be there’. These warning voices unfortunately were right,” Pistorius said.
The EU member states are working with defense industries to ramp up production, he said.
He also hailed framework contracts and added that the practice will continue. Pistorius also acknowledged that “close coordination” with Europe’s defense industries is a prerequisite to boosting production and procurement so that “projects can be realized more quickly.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was asked to comment on a Bloomberg report that the European Union’s foreign policy arm, the European External Action Service, had told EU diplomats last week that the bloc would likely miss a pledge to provide one million shells by March 2024.
“Unfortunately, Bloomberg is telling the truth,” Kuleba said on Ukrainian television. He said while there was political will in the EU, supplies were being affected by “the dire state of the defense industry” and bureaucracy.
EU’s foreign and security policy chief Josep Borrell said that at a Tuesday meeting, EU defense ministers will look into ways to ramp up ammunition production to help Ukraine.
Germany sends new military aid to Ukraine
On Monday, Germany announced additional military support for Ukraine. The package includes:
-10 Leopard 1A5 tanks, 14 Bandvagn 206 (BV206) tracked all-terrain vehicles, five Warthog ambulances all-terrain tracked carriers,
-1,020 rounds of 155mm ammunition, a Wisent 1 mine clearing tank, 10 Vector reconnaissance drones, 10,000 pairs of safety glasses,
-14 GO12 ground surveillance radars, three border protection vehicles, four HX81 truck tractor trains 8×8 and four semi-trailers,
-16 Zetros trucks, 13 MAN TGS trucks, 1.4 million rounds of ammunition for fire arms.
According to earlier reports, Germany will supply two more IRIS-T air defense systems to Ukraine by the end of the year.
Ahead of an October meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Germany said it will look to boost Ukraine’s air-defense capabilities this winter by delivering a promised package of equipment worth around EUR one billion (USD 1.1 billion), including an additional Patriot system and two more IRIS-T air-defense systems. The German Defense Ministry did not specify when the weapons would reach Ukraine.