EU member states have overestimated their technical capabilities for the manufacture of shells for Ukraine, but 1 million rounds of ammunition will still be delivered to the country.
This was announced by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba after a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council in Brussels on November 29.
"100% that a million (shells – ed.) will be delivered. The only question is the delivery schedule," the minister said.
He added that he could not say now whether the shells would arrive by the end of March 2024, as predicted.
What is the problem with a million shells from the EU
Kuleba also explained why there was a problem with the supply of a million rounds of ammunition.
"I don't see a lack of political will to deliver a million or more shells. I really see that my colleagues have overestimated the technical capability of countries to manufacture, find and purchase these shells. And that's why we are ringing the bells," the Foreign Minister said.
Kuleba also shared that at a closed meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council at the beginning of the year, he called for "something to be done with the defense industries, because everyone cannot decide it on their own. We need a system."
"I sounded the alarm then. Today I told my colleagues that I sounded the alarm at the beginning of the year, and I continue to sound the alarm today. We need to take concrete steps," the minister stressed.
He also explained that, unlike Russia, defense and industry in the EU is not a state, but a private business. That is, you can't call private companies and tell them what to do, "but we need systemic solutions."
"I have no doubt that when this flywheel spins, the defense industries of the West, and Ukraine is an integrated part of the West, will be much more powerful than the Russian defense industry," Kuleba added.
Background: In mid-November, Bloomberg wrote that the EU had informed member states that it was unlikely to fulfill its obligations to provide Ukraine with 1 million pieces of artillery ammunition by March 2024.
Kuleba confirmed this information, explaining that "the reason is, let's say, the deplorable state of the defense industry, which can produce a sufficient number of shells, and the state of warehouses, and the ability to conclude external contracts.
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