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Dutch PM: Ukraine to get large amount of shells 'in the near future'

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 22, 2024 6:42 PM 1 min read
Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte arrives at the European Council summit at Batiment Europa on Dec. 14, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. (Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
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A large amount of ammunition will be sent to Ukraine "in the near future" within the Czech-led initiative to provide Kyiv with hundreds of thousands of artillery shells, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on March 22.

Czech President Petr Pavel said in February that Prague had identified 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside Europe that could be bought and sent to Ukraine after the necessary funds were allocated to the initiative.

Artillery shells are a crucial capability for Ukraine as the country faces critical ammunition shortages. Delays in U.S. military assistance, caused by disputes in Congress, have already had a direct impact on the battlefield, contributing to the loss of the key front-line city of Avdiivka.

"In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to do our utmost to support Ukraine, prioritizing artillery and air defense," Rutte wrote on X after discussing the ammunition delivery with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on March 12 that the initiative has already secured the purchase of 300,000 shells and received nonbinding commitments for 200,000 more.

According to Fiala's security advisor, Tomas Pojar, the rounds could start flowing to Ukraine by June.

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