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The EU will deliver 520,000 rounds of artillery shells to Ukraine by March – President of the European Commission


The European defence industry has increased its production capacity for ammunition by 40% and will deliver 520,000 rounds of artillery shells by March, stated the President of the European Commission Ursula von de Leyen.

The European defence industry has already increased its production capacity by 40% – and this is still growing. Over 80 European manufacturers have responded to our call for proposals,” she said. Supply contracts will be signed in a matter of weeks, according to von der Leyen.

We are working with the Member States to get that ammunition to Ukraine – be it from the national stocks or be it by diverting other orders or making new orders, as I have just described. We will have delivered 520,000 rounds of artillery shell by March. And we will more than double this amount by the end of this year,” said the president of the European Commission.

She also added that as of the middle of February the EU has provided training for 40,500 Ukrainian soldiers. Von der Leyen stressed that this support must increase, and that was the discussion today.

In fact, Russia’s invasion has also been a wake-up call for the whole of the European Union. So, while we keep supporting Ukraine, we need to bolster our own military capacities, too. We are working to take our defence industry to the next level,” she said. The Commission will soon present a new Defence Industrial Strategy, according to the president of the European Commission.

It will introduce a stronger European dimension across our defence industries. This goes from planning to procurement; we will have a greater coherence and coordination at the European Union level. With this Strategy, we aim to make Europe move from the emergency response to a defence readiness,” said von der Leyen.

What is known about the supply of artillery shells to Ukraine?

On February 15, the U.S. government concluded a $500 million defence contract for the production of artillery shells for the Ukrainian army. In addition, the state-owned concern Ukroboronprom presented the first product of joint production with one of the NATO countries – 120 mm mortar mines. They have already been delivered to the front line for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

On March 1, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would increase the production of ammunition to support Ukraine.

On March 8, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, at a meeting with his EU colleagues in Stockholm, stated that Ukraine needs: air defence systems, a million of artillery shells, armoured vehicles, and tanks.

On March 20, the EU defence and foreign ministers agreed on a plan to purchase artillery shells, which includes the supply of 1 million shells to Ukraine. Three days later, the EU leaders approved the joint purchase of ammunition for Ukraine, and also agreed to supply missiles if needed.

In autumn 2023, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba suggested that the European Union is unlikely to be able to fulfil the plan to supply Ukraine with 1 million shells due to the “deplorable state of the defence industry.”

In January 2024, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said that the EU could still reach its target and produce 1 million artillery shells by spring 2024, which would then be sent to Ukraine.


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