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EU promises to deliver over 1 million shells by end of year

by Martin Fornusek February 7, 2024 3:31 PM 2 min read
Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, in Kyiv on Feb. 7, 2024. (PM Denys Shmyhal/Telegram)
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The EU aims to deliver over 1 million shells to Ukraine by the end of 2024, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said after meeting the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, in Kyiv on Feb. 7.

Borrell recently conceded that the European bloc will fail on its promise to provide a million artillery rounds by March. Only around half of the number is projected to be delivered by the original deadline.

"We highly appreciate the EU's military assistance," said Shmyhal, who held a joint press conference with Borrell.

"The European defense industry is building up its capabilities, and I'm sure we'll feel it soon."

Speaking at the press conference, Borrell reportedly said that "by the end of the year, the total amount of ammunition delivered as donations will be about 1,155,000."

Shmyhal welcomed the European Commission's decision to extend the free trade agreement with Ukraine until June 2025. The regulation, which was implemented in 2022, sparked a number of trade disputes with Ukraine's neighbors, namely Poland.

Ukraine's head of government added that Kyiv wants to fix the free trade regime as part of the country's association agreement with the EU.

According to the prime minister, the two officials also discussed the confiscation of Russian assets frozen in European accounts. The EU has been reluctant to seize the assets so far but has supported a plan to fund Ukraine with profits generated by the frozen funds.

Borrell arrived in Kyiv on Feb. 6 in a gesture of the EU's continued commitment to Ukraine as it faces Russian aggression. European assistance is ever more crucial now as support from the U.S. remains stalled by domestic political disputes.

The EU representative had to spend hours in a shelter earlier on Feb. 7 as Russia launched a massive strike against Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv.

Before his meeting with Shmyhal, Borrell also addressed Ukraine's parliament and held a meeting with Parliament Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk.

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