EU Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers have agreed to urgently provide Ukraine artillery ammunition from existing stocks or from jointly procuring, addressing the industry, and increasing industrial capacity.
This “three tracks” proposal was put forward on 9 March by EU High Representative Josep Borrell together with European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton.
The first track entails €1 billion from the European Peace Facility to reimburse member states that immediately supply ammunition. This refers to Ukraine’s requested 155mm ammunition and missiles, which EU countries can provide from their national stocks or from pending orders.
Under the second track, the EU will provide another €1 billion to reimburse joint procurement of 155mm ammunition and also missiles if it is requested by Ukraine, from the European defence industry and from Norway. This will be done through a project led by the European Defence Agency (EDA).
“Not everybody has been able to sign today but I think that we will be above 20 Member States participating in this project. So, the project is well on track and contracts should be passed with the industry by the end of May,” said EU High Representative Josep Borrell.
The third track aims to increase the capacity of the European industry.
Borrell emphasised that the decision was taken very quickly, in less than a month.
“I can – and I have to – stress how important this decision is. By its ambition: we will work under very tight deadlines, because the purpose is to provide 1 million ammunition in one year. By the scope: we combine the delivery from existing stocks and joint procurement of new production. By its financial volume: we are talking about €2 billion of reimbursement,” said Borrell. “Remember that the reimbursement [covers] more or less 55%-60% maximum of the cost, so in practical terms we are talking about an expenditure which is double of this figure.”
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