The EU cannot find a million missiles for Ukraine
The European Union, which has agreed to support Kiev with additional ammunition, is looking for a way to urgently meet the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The bloc has struggled to deliver the 155mm rounds needed by Kiev this year, sources familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg.
Earlier, Kiev said that in 2023 it would need a million missiles. The Estonian authorities have estimated that the emergency supply of ammunition will cost €4 billion. Tallinn was the first to raise this issue a month ago, proposing urgent investment in capacity expansion to ensure the required volumes.
Estonian authorities estimate that Ukraine uses an average of 60,000 to 210,000 rounds of ammunition per month, but the European defense industry is only able to produce up to 25,000 rounds of ammunition at the same time. The Russian military fires between 20,000 and 60,000 rounds a day.
Representatives of the EU countries have not yet specified how much they are ready to spend on the purchase of shells this year and how these funds will be organized. Some EU members would like to establish mandatory contributions proportional to the size of each country’s economy, others would like contributions to be voluntary.
Earlier in March, European defense ministers backed a proposal by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to use €1 billion from the European Peace Facility to supply Ukraine with ammunition from existing stockpiles as soon as possible. Another billion euros could be used to jointly purchase shells, but any additional funding must be agreed by EU members, Borrell said.
The issue of financing, as well as agreeing on the amount of ammunition to be delivered, is to be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers next week. The same issue will be on the agenda of the summit of the bloc leaders in Brussels.
It is not yet clear how much ammunition is available for immediate delivery and whether there will be enough of it, the agency’s interlocutor believes. He also fears that the negotiations will not end soon enough.