EU leaders have approved a proposal to deliver 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition to Ukraine over the course of the next 12 months to aid in the resistance against Russian invasion.

The strategy was previously authorised by EU foreign and defence ministers earlier this week, and leaders endorsed it politically on Thursday at their regularly scheduled spring meeting in Brussels (24 March).

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, thanked them over video call.

According to EU authorities, he also sought for planes and long-range weapons.

During a previous conference last month, Estonia’s prime minister Kaja Kallas had advocated for the shipment of ammunition to Ukraine since the country is experiencing shortages a year after beginning its defence against Russian soldiers.

Everyone of us must refuel on our own stockpiles, and we must ship Ukraine munitions. Fast delivery of ammunition to Ukraine is essential because it might influence the course of this battle, Kallas declared as she arrived at the Thursday meeting.

According to the EU proposal, EU nations would provide Ukraine with ammunition from their own inventories before making combined ammunition purchases for both themselves and Ukraine. Thirdly, the EU’s armaments industry will increase output.

According to Eduard Heger, prime minister of Slovakia, “Ukraine is safeguarding her land, shielding citizens being slaughtered by Russian bombs, we are just doing what is right, aiding them, and I am not afraid about escalation.”

Premier of Latvia Krijnis Kari stated: “Ukraine is fighting for our fundamental principles. We must ensure that we can provide them with the weapons they need to win this battle.

EU leaders applauded the ministers’ decision to “urgently provide ground-to-ground and artillery munitions” in their written conclusions

to Ukraine and, if required, missiles, including by cooperative purchase and the mobilisation of appropriate resources, such as through the European Peace Facility [EPF], among other to deliver 1 million artillery rounds in a combined effort.

From the EU’s EPF, a fund from which €7 billion is expected to be used to aid Ukraine, €1 billion has been set aside for the delivery of shells and potentially missiles.

Poland and other close friends of Ukraine in the EU want to add an additional €3.5 billion to the EPF.

The Nato secretary general told the Guardian newspaper earlier this week that Ukraine’s usage of artillery shells—4,000 to 7,000 per day, compared to Russia’s 20,000 to 50,000—was outpacing Western production capability.

Jens Stoltenberg stated that “the present pace of ammunition spending is larger than the current manufacturing rate.”

Last week, 17 EU nations and Norway committed to a two-year fast-track procurement arrangement for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year scheme to buy other ammunition types as part of the European initiative.

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