The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Dmitry Kuleba said that the European Union (EU) will not fulfill the plan to supply 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine until March 2024. Among the reasons, the minister cited the state of defense production and bureaucratic obstacles. Sources reported to Bloomberg that the EU will not be able to deliver the ammunition on time, this was confirmed by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
Mr. Kuleba admitted that “unfortunately, Bloomberg is telling the truth.” According to him, the EU retains the “political will to support Ukraine”, but problems have arisen due to the “pathetic state of the defense industry, capable of producing sufficient quantities of shells and warehouses, and the ability to conclude external contracts.” “It turned out that there are a lot of obstacles, a lot of unsynchronized things, a lot of bureaucracy,” the head of the Foreign Ministry said on the air of the all-Ukrainian telethon (quote from TASS).
Dmitry Kuleba claims that the EU has already begun to take steps to correct the situation, but, in his opinion, “we need to do it faster, we need to do more.” He did not specify what steps he was talking about. “We really appreciate the support of the European Union, but we will push them,” the minister added.
Mr. Borrell admitted the day before that the EU would not have time to fulfill the plan to send ammunition to Ukraine, but assured that Brussels would not abandon this goal. He explained that for its implementation, the EU has already allocated 300 thousand shells from its own reserves, and has now begun their additional production, which is planned to be expanded in the future.
“We still have this task (to supply Ukraine with 1 million ammunition.— “Ъ”), but we probably won’t be able to fulfill it before the end of the year, it all depends on how quickly the contracts are completed and the factories can produce,” Mr. Borrell explained following the meeting of the EU foreign ministers, held yesterday, November 13.
The head of European diplomacy in March announced a decision to supply a million ammunition to Ukraine. European countries asked for €10 billion in compensation for arms supplies to Kyiv. On October 26, Bloomberg reported that the EU plan was only 30% completed. According to the agency, some countries have asked to extend the delivery time for shells. The head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Alexei Reznikov, complained about the depletion of missile reserves for Soviet air defense systems.
Read about what happens after the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine in the Kommersant online broadcast.