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Minister: Estonia to send Ukraine ammunition under EU program
Estonia will send Ukraine 155 mm shells as part of the European Union's plan of delivering one million artillery rounds, Hanno Pevkur, the country's defense minister, said on April 20.
In addition, Estonia will supply night vision devices and 5.56 mm ammunition to the Ukrainian army, according to the official. He didn't specify how many rounds would be delivered.
"We will discuss more closely Estonia's help to Ukraine with (Ukrainian Defense Minister) Oleksii Reznikov tomorrow in Ramstein," Pevkur added, referring to the next meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. It will take place at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany on April 21.
Estonia has committed more than 1% of its GDP to Ukraine's defense assistance since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.
The EU agreed to provide Ukraine with 1 million rounds of artillery shells on March 20. In the first phase, the bloc should dedicate €1 billion to countries that can send their stockpiles right away. Another €1 billion will be used for the joint purchase of new rounds.
The members are yet to agree on where to acquire these shells. France proposes to purchase from European suppliers, hoping to boost its domestic defense industry, while Estonia doesn't rule out buying the ammunition outside the European Economic Area.
However, there are worries that Europe's defense industry currently lacks the capacity to quickly produce the required amount of shells.
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on April 20 that he's "frustrated" about the EU stalling its program on the joint purchase of ammunition for Ukraine.