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Kuleba, Borrell discuss EU ammunition procurement program for Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 21, 2023 7:05 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers fire an artillery on the Marinka-Pisky frontline as the Russia-Ukraine war continues, in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on April 16, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba spoke with EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell on April 21, urging him to facilitate the second tranche of one billion euros ($1.12 billion) for joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine.

Kuleba said that he had thanked Borrell "for all the EU's defense assistance, including the latest one billion euros for immediate ammo needs," referring to the first part of the bloc's plan to ramp up ammunition supply to Ukraine.

The European Union agreed to provide Ukraine with one million artillery shells on March 20.

In the first phase, the bloc should dedicate one billion euros to reimburse countries that can 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.

"The urgency is clear — the EU will do its utmost to deliver and deliver fast," the EU foreign policy chief added.

However, EU member states still argue about some of the plan's details. One of the main points of contention pertains to the level of restrictions on funding for EU manufacturers and to what extent countries such as the U.S. and U.K. should be involved in procurement.

The day before, Kuleba tweeted that he was "frustrated" about the European Union stalling its program on the joint purchase of ammunition for Ukraine.

Washington Post: Ukrainian counteroffensive delayed by number of factors
Ukraine’s upcoming counteroffensive has been delayed due to a combination of factors, including weather, slow equipment deliveries, and an insufficient amount of ammunition, the Washington Post reported.
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