Model of ammunition and weapons atop the map of Europe

The European Union announced Friday that it approved a plan to provide €1 billion in ammunition to Ukraine that will include 155-mm-caliber artillery rounds and the potential for missile shipments. 

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the latest assistance measure brings the total EU military support to Ukraine to €5.6 billion.

“Today’s decision is another major step to deliver more ammunition to Ukraine,” Borrell said. “The Ukrainian Armed Forces need substantial amounts of ammunition to defend the Ukrainian people and territory. They need it fast.”

Ukraine is believed to be preparing its forces for a counteroffensive aimed at taking back land controlled by the Russians, and military leaders from Kyiv said the only way the military can achieve its objective is to have enough ammunition. 

The ammunition procured in the deal will have to be purchased and delivered by countries in the EU and the only states that can produce the ammunition must be in the EU or Norway.

TRENDPOST: The sourcing of the ammunition has been a source of tension between countries in the EU, because, as we have long noted, this war is as much about weakening Russia as it is about enriching the military-industrial complex. (See “WWIII: U.S. PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE NUCLEAR STRIKE BY RUSSIA IN UKRAINE” 3 May 2023, “NOT A ‘PROXY WAR’: WEST IN FULL-OUT WAR WITH RUSSIA” 18 Oct 2022, and “AS WE’VE WARNED: RUSSIA SAYS THREAT OF NUCLEAR EXCHANGE WITH U.S. GROWING” 25 Apri 2023.)

Last month, Poland and France clashed over what countries should get the contracts, Politico reported, citing unnamed officials. There is a rush to get Ukraine 1 million shells in the next year.

The Politico report noted that the plan is essentially a three-step process that includes the EU transferring ammunition from its own stocks, and the second stage involves joint purchases. The report noted that the third stage “aims to ensure EU manufacturers are capable of meeting Europe’s defense needs.”

The EU sees a need to shore up its ammunition supplies and production capabilities because, as of February, Russia was firing the same amount of ammunition in a single day that Europe can produce in a month, according to Bloomberg.

Avril Haines, the top spy in the U.S., addressed Congress on 4 May and said Russian President Vladimir Putin has little interest at the moment to seek negotiations because he “most likely calculates that time works in his favor” and that Western countries will grow tired of supporting Ukraine as Kyiv fights for a stalemate against a much larger and well-armed country. 

Most of Europe just experienced May Day protests on 1 May that were organized by labor unions. The German Trade Union Confederation told that 288,000 people took part in protests across the country and violent protests broke out in France over President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans. (See “MACRON FACES NEW PROTESTS AFTER FORCING THROUGH PENSION REFORMS,” 21 Mar 2023.)

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