The EU has admitted failure in its ambitious plans to supply Ukraine with artillery shells.
EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell said on the sidelines of a meeting of defense ministers in Brussels on Wednesday that only more than half of the promised one million shots would have been delivered by March.
A special EU summit on aid to Ukraine will be held in the Belgian capital on Thursday (February 1).
The new target is to reach one million this year at least. According to Borrell, member states have pledged to provide about 630,000 rounds of ammunition in March and beyond. And then more than a million.
▶︎ On March 20 last year, EU countries pledged to supply Ukraine with one million new artillery shells within twelve months for a defensive war against Russia. They should be organized from the stocks of the member states, but also through new joint procurement programs and to prevent shortages of the Ukrainian armed forces.
▶︎ According to current figures from the EU External Action Service, only about 330,000 of the promised cannonballs have been delivered so far. Another 200,000 or more are expected to follow within a 12-month period. Then we will have reached the target of slightly more than 52 percent, said Borrell.
Pistorius predicts defeat
Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius had already predicted the plans would fail last year. “One million will not be reached. “You have to assume that,” the SPD politician said in November. He attributed this to insufficient production capacity.
However, politicians from countries like Estonia and Borel also repeatedly gave other reasons. Borrell repeatedly stressed that, in his opinion, the problem was not industrial capacity, and pointed out that a significant amount of ammunition produced in the EU was supplied to other countries due to existing agreements.
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