EU’s Military Promise: Ukraine’s Race for Shells”

In an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity, the European Union has taken a major step by supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia. On Friday, the EU spokesman confirmed the delivery of 223,800 shells to Ukraine, following an ambitious plan to supply a total of one million shells.
Last March, the EU validated an envelope of two billion euros for this project, revealing the intention to extract the ammunition from the reserves of the member states for Kyiv. A welcome move, given that Ukraine was expressing serious concerns about its shortage of ammunition, a key resource for repelling Russian troops.

The first stage of this plan, running from February to May, had a budget of one billion euros. This funding was mainly used to reimburse member states that dipped into their stocks to support Ukraine. The bill is impressive: the EU has revealed that the total value of ammunition delivered to date is around 1.1 billion euros. In addition to artillery shells, 2,300 various missiles were also dispatched.

However, despite this considerable progress, the EU seems to be struggling to achieve its ultimate goal of one million shells. Several European capitals had, from the start, expressed their doubts about the feasibility of such a goal.

The next phase of the project focuses on the joint purchase of 155mm ammunition by the EU defense agency. But it is imperative that contracts with manufacturers are signed quickly to comply with the EU timetable.

Beyond this support, it is essential to note the colossal investment of the EU and its Member States to arm Ukraine since February 2022: 20 billion euros. Meanwhile, the United States, too, has been generous, with security commitments for Ukraine amounting to $43.7 billion, according to the Pentagon. And that figure is likely to grow, as the White House recently requested a $13 billion extension from Congress to militarily support Ukraine.

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