Numerous European Union countries are expected to release thousands of artillery shells for swift delivery to Ukraine under a 1 billion euro program to reimburse member states for arms deliveries to Ukraine seen by the Financial Times.
Particularly impactful will be the delivery of 155mm NATO-standard howitzer rounds, which are urgently needed in advance of an intense spring campaign in the war, the newspaper reported on March 3, citing anonymous EU officials.
“I think this will go fast, very fast. And I think we’re talking about a matter of days, weeks, rather than a matter of months,” one of the officials cited said.
As stocks of 152mm and 122mm ammunition for Soviet-made artillery ammunition run low in Ukraine and other former Eastern Bloc countries, a steady supply of 155mm ammunition is crucial to keep up the fight along the front line in Ukraine, where Russia fires an estimated four shells for every Ukrainian shell fired on average.
According to the Financial Times, EU defense ministers will refine the proposed system ahead of a planned defense summit later in March.
As a more long-term solution, a unified EU procurement system also proposed would enable Brussels to purchase arms and ammunition directly from European manufacturers, without going through the stocks and budgets of individual nations.