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EU provides 220,000 artillery shells for Ukraine: Borrell

The European Union has provided 220,000 artillery shells to Ukraine as part of a landmark scheme launched two months ago to increase ammunition supplies to Kyiv in order to combat Russia’s invasion, EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.

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According to Josep Borrell, EU states have also given 1,300 missiles under the scheme and are on track to meet the target of supplying 1 million pieces of ammunition within a year, despite the fact that some EU countries have avoided endorsing that goal as achievable.

“The next days, weeks, and months are going to be strategically decisive in the war in Ukraine,” Borrell told reporters as he announced the figures at the end of a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels.

EU governments agreed to the ammunition scheme in March after Kyiv warned it was in desperate need of artillery rounds as Russia’s invasion descended into an intense war of attrition, with thousands of shells fired daily.

The EU’s plan, worth at least EUR 2 billion, consists of three components, all of which are linked to financial incentives. The first two elements offer partial refunds for weapons and ammunition sent to Ukraine using a fund named the European Peace Facility.

The plan marked the first time the EU had gotten involved in funding large-scale joint procurement of munitions and reflected how the EU has become much more involved in military affairs since the Russian forces swept into Ukraine in February 2022.

The plan’s first component encourages EU members to send ammunition from stockpiles; the second encourages countries to place joint orders; and the third focuses on assisting arms firms in increasing their production capacities.

The 220,000 shells were provided as part of the first phase of the plan, according to Borrell. The first joint procurement contracts under the second part of the plan are expected to be signed in the summer, according to officials.

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