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EU flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium, on Dec. 28, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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The European Commission allocated 500 million euros (around $544 million) to increase the EU's ammunition production capacity to 2 million shells per year by the end of 2025, the commission's press service announced on March 15.

The announcement follows the recent adoption of the first-ever European Defense Industrial Strategy (EDIS) at the EU level aimed at supporting the competitiveness and readiness of the bloc's defense industry.

The performance of the European defense industry, especially when it comes to supporting Ukraine, has been lackluster, as the EU failed on its promise to deliver 1 million artillery shells between March 2023 and 2024. After supplying only about half of the promised rounds, Brussels shifted the deadline to the end of this year.

The European Commission allocated the funds under the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) and selected 31 projects to help the European defense industry ramp up its ammunition production, according to a press release published by the bloc's executive body.

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands

"ASAP funding recipient companies and their supply chains are spread across the European Union. Support is provided to reinforcing existing production capacities, as well as to build up new ones," reads the press release.

"The completed projects will enhance the responsiveness and capability of the Union's defense industry, ensuring a faster supply of ammunition and missiles in Europe."

As Kyiv faces critical ammunition shortages due to U.S. assistance being stalled in Congress, Czechia proposed to send Ukraine 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells that it had identified outside the EU and urged partner countries to provide financing.

Several countries, including Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Lithuania, have already supported the initiative.

The ammunition shortages already had a direct impact on the ground in Ukraine, contributing to the loss of the key city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast and other settlements on the eastern front.

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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