Published: 2023-03-20 20:07
Last Updated: 2024-03-01 06:30
European Union ministers agreed Monday on a two-billion-euro plan to raid their own arsenals and jointly purchase artillery shells for Ukraine, AFP reported.
Meeting in Brussels, defense and foreign ministers backed an initiative that aims to provide Ukraine with one million shells in the next 12 months as well as replenish EU stocks.
Ukraine has told the EU it wants 350,000 shells a month to help its troops.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said the "starting signal" had been given and promised Ukraine could count on getting a large amount of ammunition this year.
The Ukraine government welcomed the European Union's new armaments initiative.
"We are grateful to the EU for approving a plan to purchase ammunition for Ukraine for 2 billion euro. This is a very strong step to protect European security," the Ukrainian presidential administration's chief of staff Andriy Yermak said on social media.
The first part of the plan commits a further one billion euros ($1.06 billion) of shared funding to try to get EU states to tap their already stretched stocks for ammunition that can be sent quickly.
The second part would see the bloc use another one billion euros to order 155-millimeter shells for Ukraine as part of a massive joint procurement push intended to spur EU defense firms to ramp up production.