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EU Council approves another billion euros to purchase ammunition for Ukraine
The European Council has approved allocating another billion euros ($1.12 billion) to implement the second phase of the EU plan to provide Ukraine with one million ammunition rounds.
The funds will finance the joint purchase of 155-mm-caliber artillery rounds and, if requested, missiles by EU member states from the European defense industry.
"Today's decision is another major step to deliver more ammunition to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Armed Forces need substantial amounts of ammunition to defend the Ukrainian people and territory. They need it fast," said the European Union's chief diplomat Josep Borrell.
The EU agreed to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells on March 20. In the first phase, the bloc dedicated one billion euros to reimburse countries that could send their stockpiles right away. Another billion will be used for the joint purchase of new rounds, and the final part of the program will be the production of the remaining artillery rounds.
After the April 21 phone call with Ukraine's foreign minister, Borrell said that the EU had delivered more than 66% of the first tranche since Feb. 9. The reimbursing measure applies to existing ammunition stocks of the program's participants "or from the reprioritization of existing orders" between Feb. 9 and May 31, 2023.
According to Borrell, the two billion euros committed by the EU to speed up the ammunition supply brings the total bloc's military support to Ukraine to 5.6 billion (around $6.1 billion).