EU unlikely to supply 1M artillery rounds to Ukraine before March 2024 – FM Kuleba
Most likely, the European Union will not be able to supply 1 million artillery rounds to Ukraine before March 2024 as agreed due to the condition of its defense industry and red tape obstacles.
The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba during a nationwide telethon, commenting on Bloomberg’s recent article in this regard, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
“Unfortunately, Bloomberg is telling the truth. There are many questions and we are ringing the bells loudly. In my opinion, the cause of this problem is not the lack of political will of the European Union to support Ukraine – such political will does exist – but the miserable condition of the defense industry, capable of producing enough rounds, and warehouses, and the ability to conclude foreign contracts. It has turned out that there are a lot of obstacles, a lot of unsynchronized things, a lot of bureaucracy,” Kuleba told.
In his words, the European Union is working to eliminate these problems. Kuleba mentioned that, while paying a working visit to Brussels, he called on the EU to develop a comprehensive defense industry policy.
“If we, as Europeans, want to be able to defend the whole of Europe, and Ukraine is the vanguard of Europe today, then we need an absolutely new operating quality of the defense industries of EU Member States and candidates for joining the European Union. Remove all barriers, introduce all necessary incentives, adjust everything to work like a Swiss watch,” Kuleba noted.
A reminder that, following the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated that the EU continues efforts to supply 1 million artillery rounds to Ukraine. However, this may not happen before the end of the year due to the pace of production operations.