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Kuleba: Ukraine may get first shells under Czech-led initiative in 'foreseeable future'

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 13, 2024 4:33 PM 2 min read
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba attends the 2024 Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17, 2024, in Munich, Germany. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
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Ukrainian soldiers are expected to receive the first ammunition purchased by allied countries under the Czech-led initiative "in the foreseeable future," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on March 13.

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.

The fulfillment of the initiative is designed for a year, but the earliest shell deliveries to the front line "will not take many months," Kuleba said at a conference with his Moldovan counterpart Mihai Popsoi in Kyiv.

Tomas Pojar, a Czech national security adviser, said that purchased ammunition could be sent to Ukraine as early as June, Euractiv reported.  

"We will contact our Czech colleagues this week to present the supply plan in detail and how it will work. We are ready for full cooperation and assistance," Kuleba said.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on March 12 that the initiative, joined by 18 countries, received "non-binding commitments" for a further 200,000 rounds, in addition to the confirmed purchase of 300,000 shells.

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

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