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Lithuania to join Czech-led ammunition initiative for Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek March 5, 2024 9:15 AM 2 min read
Ukrainian artillery crew commander Vitalii "Skyba" with 155mm shells at positions in Donetsk Oblast on Feb. 3, 2023. (Francis Farrell/The Kyiv Independent)
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Lithuania will contribute to the Czech-led allied initiative to supply Ukraine with hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds from outside of Europe, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte confirmed on March 4 after a phone call with her Czech counterpart, Petr Fiala.

As Kyiv faces critical ammunition shortages due to U.S. assistance being stalled in Congress, Czech President Petr Pavel said last month at the Munich Conference that Prague had found 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells abroad.

The ammunition could be shipped to Ukraine quickly if other partners provide financing, he added.

"This is a very important initiative, especially in this period when the supply of ammunition to Ukraine has slowed down," Simonyte said, according to the Lithuanian government's website.

"As until now, Lithuania will continue to support all support formats that would increase Ukraine's ability to effectively defend itself against Russian aggression, thus protecting the freedom of the whole of Europe."

Simonyte did not specify the size of Lithuania's contribution.

Czechia has previously said it had received commitments from Canada, Denmark, and other countries that do not wish to be identified. Belgium has also allocated 200 million euros ($216 million) to the initiative, while the Netherlands pledged 250 million euros ($271 million).

Bloomberg reported on March 2 that Ukraine could receive the first of the promised shells within weeks.

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