Ammunition to Ukraine is a mockery: Kiev is dry, but Europe sells them to other countries

Ukraine made this clear, and Germany confirmed it: the European Union’s promise to deliver 1 million artillery ammunition to Kiev by March is “unlikely to be kept”, which is of fundamental importance for the future of the conflict against Russia. The news is not new: Delays had been occurring for weeks in EU deliveries under the so-called ASAP plan. But until now these delays had been justified by the claim that European industry was unable to produce shells at wartime rates. The statement made at this time by the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, brings up a paradoxical situation: There is production capacity in the EU, but companies prefer to sell surplus ammunition to other countries.

Delivering one million artillery ammunition to Ukraine by 2024, as promised in Kiev in recent months, is purely a matter of “production”: the capacity is there, but given that EU defense companies operate in the market, “around 40” are present at the meeting of EU Defense ministers these days Participating in the production, Borrell said that the production was exported instead of being delivered to Ukraine.

“Production depends on contracts, and the contract depends on the grouping and financial capacity of the member states,” the EU High Representative said. “So – he continues – this is an interaction between industry and Member States”. Today “about 40% of production is exported to about thirty-third countries. So the problem is not a lack of production capacity, they are sending their products to other markets. So maybe what we should do is try to ‘shift’ this production to Ukraine, that would be a welcome change.”

The shame in Brussels on this issue is obvious. Every military export from an EU country is subject to government approval. So there is not only a market level, but also a political level. European Industrial Commissioner Thierry Breton of France reports on the progress made by EU companies (he said artillery ammunition production capacity has “increased by 20-30 percent since February”) and says he is confident the target will be met. The idea of ​​producing “one million” heavy ammunition per year will be “respected”. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has a diametrically opposite view: “Millions will not be reached, we must start from this foundation.”

This shame becomes even more obvious if we compare the current 300 thousand ammunition support that Europe gives to Kiev with the ammunition support that North Korea alone gives to Russia, with the delivery of 1 million rounds to Moscow in a few months. The increasingly real risk is that while Russia rebuilds its arsenal much more quickly, the time the Ukrainian military needs to strengthen its counteroffensive is lost. Inviting EU leaders to intensify support for Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg admitted that “the situation on the ground is difficult”: “We cannot let Putin win,” he warned.

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Source: Today IT