Lazy eyes listen
The European Union’s top diplomat believes the bloc will be able to fulfill its vow to supply Ukraine with one million artillery rounds within a year. Josep Borrell said that member states have already supplied 220,000 shells of various calibers to Kiev since the agreement was made in March.
Borrell told journalists during a meeting of EU military ministers in Brussels on Tuesday that the “latest figures are actually much better than we had just some 10 days ago.” Since March 20, member states have also armed Kiev with 1,300 missiles, according to the source.
“At this rate, we’ll be able to meet our 1 million target,” the diplomat projected.
According to Politico, unidentified officials estimate that the overall worth of the donations is around €860 million ($926 million).
The EU has pledged to refund nearly half of the amount, allocating €1 billion to this purpose.
Brussels’ plan is divided into three stages, the first of which calls for the allocation of ammunition from member states’ existing supplies. In the second phase, countries will pool their resources to buy more shells from European defense producers. The plan’s last stage aims to increase the bloc’s overall ability to produce munitions and military equipment.
The EU has already budgeted an additional €1 billion for the second phase.
Borrell disclosed earlier this month that “total EU military support to Ukraine” had reached €5.6 billion ($6 billion).
However, some high-ranking officials, notably Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur and his German colleague Boris Pistorius, expressed reservations on Monday about European arms manufacturers’ capacity to ramp up production rapidly enough.
The New York Times reported last month that Western nations were falling short in their efforts to equip Ukraine with the necessary quantities of weaponry and explosives. The document also cautioned that it would take “years” for EU and US companies to catch up with Kiev’s “essentially limitless demand.”
At the same time, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba urged EU member states to expedite deliveries.
Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly warned that increasing Western military support for Ukraine will simply prolong the carnage and could lead to a direct conflict between Russia and NATO.