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Joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine – a long-term measure: Polish FM

During a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Estonia proposed the transfer of EUR 4 bn by EU governments for the purchase of one million artillery shells for Ukraine. However, according to Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, Ukraine needs ammunition immediately, and joint purchases by European countries are a long-term measure.

The head of the Polish Foreign Ministry called the proposal interesting but stressed that the idea of joint purchases would not guarantee Ukraine ammunition in the coming weeks.

“Military production, the production of European Union defense equipment, is a production that is appropriate for peacetime, and we are dealing with war. Getting European production up and running will require at least months, if not years if we are to reach a satisfactory level. So the thing boils down to buying this necessary equipment, primarily ammunition, outside the European Union. There aren’t too many such sources either. Hence the postulate of jointly buying ammunition from outside the EU,” Minister Zbigniew Rau explained.

I thank Estonia for proposing a joint direct procurement of arms and ammunition, which could start with the EU members providing 1 million 155mm rounds to Ukraine. Even though I can’t join today's FAC in person, we strongly endorse the initiative and urge to put it into action.

— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 20, 2023

He stressed that this is why there have been calls, including from the head of EU diplomacy, for European countries to transfer ammunition from their warehouses to Ukraine.

“We are on the right side here. I can’t go into details, but Poland doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of, quite the contrary. On the other hand, other countries are not reacting so dynamically or decisively. Hence these appeals,” the minister stressed.

The proposal for joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine has gained a lot of support among EU countries. It is expected to be approved at a European summit in Brussels next month.

Further sanctions

The head of EU diplomacy announced that the tenth package of sanctions against Russia is expected to be adopted before the end of the week. Josep Borrell confirmed the plan to approve the restrictions before February 24, the first anniversary of Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

The 10th package of #EU sanctions against Russia should be ready by February 24, the anniversary of #Russia's full-scale invasion of #Ukraine.

It is reported by Reuters with reference to high-ranking diplomats from three EU countries.

— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) January 20, 2023

“We are on the way to approving it and I think it’s going to be approved in the next hours or the next few days – before (February) 24 in any case,” Borrell said.

The tenth sanctions package was one of the topics of Monday’s meeting of European Union foreign ministers. The Commission’s proposed package includes further trade restrictions that are expected to hit the capabilities of Russia’s military and defense industries. The list encompasses microprocessors, semiconductors, construction equipment, and heavy vehicles. The Commission is also proposing to extend sanctions to four more Russian banks.

We are approaching 1year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of #Ukraine
Today, we are putting forward the 10th package of sanctions against those who are instrumental in the continuation of this brutal war
We will continue to increase pressure on Russia – for as long as needed.

— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) February 15, 2023

The package also includes a partial ban on rubber imports, as the Commission allows a certain quota, which Poland, among others, criticizes. However, the package does not mention Russian diamonds or nuclear fuel.

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