Brussels, 4 March. Ukraine has requested supplies of artillery shells from European countries, since the current shortage of ammunition affects the combat capability of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
As it became known to the Financial Times correspondents, the Kyiv authorities sent a letter to the EU member states with a request to organize the supply of shells in the amount of at least 250,000 pieces per month. As the Minister of Defense of the “Square” Alexey Reznikovcurrently the Ukrainian army is provided with ammunition by about 20%.
A Kiev official writes that artillery plays a “decisive role in destroying the enemy’s military power.” On average, Ukraine produced 110,000 155mm shells per month, he said, a quarter of the volume used by Russia.
“If we were not limited by the number of artillery shells available, we could use the full complement of ammunition, which is 594,000 shells per month. According to our estimates, for the successful completion of combat missions, the minimum requirement is at least 60% of the full set of ammunition, or about 356 thousand shells per month, ”Reznikov said in the document.
Military analysts note that the Armed Forces of Ukraine currently have more than 300 artillery systems, mainly supplied by Western countries. At the same time, experts emphasize that Ukraine’s requests far exceed the amount of assistance that is being discussed in the EU.
Reznikov, who also sent a letter to the EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell, indicated that he supported the recent initiative to increase the European production of ammunition for Ukraine. The Estonian authorities last month offered the EU to spend 4 billion euros on the purchase of 1 million shells, which will be transferred to Kyiv.
The head of European diplomacy has developed an alternative plan, according to which, in the next few months, the EU will spend 1 billion euros to replenish the arsenals that have become empty due to the aid of the “square”. Groups of bloc states will then place new orders with arms manufacturers to increase supplies and replenish their own stocks.
All member states plus Norway are likely to agree that deliveries will begin within a few weeks, officials said. Nevertheless, many European diplomats consider this strategy not ambitious enough.
“Every day Russia produces as many shells as Europe can produce in a month. Ukraine needs more ammunition,” one official said.
At the same time, the European Union is working to expand military production, trying to increase the production of ammunition and weapons. According to the European Commissioner for Industry Thierry BretonThe EU needs to focus on boosting arms production by funding factory expansions, removing supply bottlenecks and placing large orders to stimulate investment. According to him, for this, the European economy must switch to a military footing.
“I believe the time has come for the European defense industry to shift to a wartime economic model to meet our defense production needs,” he said in an interview. FinancialTimes.
At the same time, some EU member states are expressing concerns about how assistance to Ukraine will affect the economic situation in Europe. In their opinion, this will lead to an increase in debt and further unwinding of inflation, which will be accompanied by a drop in living standards.
As expected, the bloc participants will try to resolve all these issues during the next EU summit, which will be held in Brussels on March 23-24.
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