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Macron to discuss ammunition for Ukraine during Prague visit

by Martin Fornusek March 5, 2024 12:44 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: French President Emmanuel Macron receives Czech President Petr Pavel at the presidential Elysee Palace on Dec. 20, 2023, in Paris, France. (Christian Liewig - Corbis/Getty Images)
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French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Prague on March 5 to meet Czech President Petr Pavel and Prime Minister Petr Fiala and discuss plans to purchase ammunition for Ukraine outside of Europe, among other topics, Czech Television reported.

As Kyiv faces critical ammunition shortages due to U.S. assistance being stalled in Congress, Pavel said last month at the Munich Conference that Prague had found 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells abroad that could be shipped to Ukraine if other partners provide financing.

Several countries, including Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Lithuania, have already supported the initiative.

Macron voiced support for the plan in a comment for the media on Feb. 26, but Paris has not made a decisive commitment yet. According to Bloomberg, the French president is expected to announce a pledge to the Czech proposal as soon as this week.

Ukraine is facing increasingly critical shortages in shells as allies fail to restock this vital capability quickly enough. The EU did not deliver on its promise to supply Ukraine with 1 million shells by March, sending only about half of the number so far and pushing the deadline to the end of the year.

U.S. ammunition supplies have largely run out as House Speaker Mike Johnson refuses to put the Senate's $95 billion foreign aid bill, allocating $60 billion for Ukraine, to the vote in his chamber.

The shortages already had a direct impact on the ground in Ukraine, contributing to the loss of the key city of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast and other villages on the eastern front.

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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