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Swedish defense minister: Up to 2 years needed to boost production capacity to arm Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 22, 2024 12:10 PM 2 min read
Swedish Defence Minister Pal Jonson addresses a press conference as a new support package for Ukraine is presented on Feb. 20, 2024, at the Berga Naval Base, part of the Swedish Armed Forces, located south of Stockholm. (Jonathan Nackstrand /AFP via Getty Images)
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It will take as long as two years for Sweden to reach the desired capacity to provide Ukraine with more ammunition and strengthen the Swedish Armed Forces, Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson said in an interview with Bloomberg published on May 21.

Since the outbreak of the full-scale Russian invasion, Stockholm has provided Ukraine with military assistance worth around 30 billion Swedish krona ($2.88 billion). The largest defense aid package was announced in February and included 10 CB 90 combat boats, 20 group boats, and underwater weapons.

Jonson outlined three goals for Sweden in the defense sphere, including ensuring Ukraine's victory in Russia's all-out war, integrating Sweden into NATO, and the expansion of the country's military, according to Bloomberg.

"Russia has gotten back on its feet faster than the Euro-Atlantic community... I expect we will catch up, but I think it will take a year or two before we see the full effect," the minister said.

The Swedish government is planning to triple its artillery ammunition production in the next few years, and it will consider potential regulatory changes that could help increase capacity, according to Jonson.

Such a ramp-up is a challenge for Europe, as the countries' defense industrial base was formed for peacetime, he added.

"However, I expect the effect from scaling up to come more in 2025 and 2026," Jonson said.

In March 2024, Sweden officially joined NATO after a lengthy application process triggered by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and was immediately vocal in its calls for other alliance members to do more.

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