German Chancellor Olaf Scholz cautioned on Thursday that it was essential to give Ukraine new weapons as soon as possible to fend off Russia’s invasion and promised prompt EU action.
After promising action at a summit in Brussels the following week, Scholz told the lower house of parliament, “It is crucial that we swiftly supply Ukraine with the required munitions.
Members would “pass measures to ensure even better, continuous supplies,” he said.
Additionally, we are willing to include other member states in our procurement initiatives, said Scholz.
Western allies of Ukraine caution that despite firing thousands of howitzer shells daily to fend off a relentless Russian offensive, Kyiv is critically short of howitzer shells.
In order to fend off the Russian attack and enable it to launch its own counteroffensives, Kyiv has informed the EU that it needs 350,000 shells every month.
Currently, EU nations are arguing over specifics like who would be in charge of making the orders and whether they would only be able to purchase from European producers.
At a meeting of the defence and foreign ministers on Monday in Brussels, they expect to reach an agreement on a $2.1 billion plan to raid their stockpiles and place joint orders for shells for Ukraine. They will then grant their seal of approval at the summit starting on Thursday.
The first part of the agreement would entail allocating an additional one billion euros in shared funding in an effort to persuade EU member states to further raid their arsenals.
In the second portion, as part of a significant joint procurement drive aimed at boosting the bloc’s defense industry, the EU would spend an additional one billion euros to purchase 155-millimeter shells for Ukraine.