By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) – EU countries agreed to supply Ukraine with 1 million rounds of ammunition within a year, the EU foreign policy chief announced on Monday.
Calling it a “historic decision,” Josep Borrell said on Twitter that EU foreign and defense ministers approved his “three-track” plan on supplying ammunition to Ukraine and ramping up military production in the EU.
“Following my proposal, Member States agreed to deliver 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition within the next 12 months,” he said.
Under the deal, EU member states that send immediate ammunition from their own supplies to Ukraine will be reimbursed by the EU budget up to €1 billion ($1.07 billion).
In addition, the bloc will dedicate another €1 billion for joint procurements through the European Defense Agency.
As the third pillar, the EU will place new orders at the European defense industry to speed up production to replenish stockpiles.
“It seems that it is a good day today, we have reached a political consensus to send to Ukraine 1 million rounds of 155 caliber ammunition,” Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur told reporters after the meeting.
He admitted that negotiations on the concrete steps will continue after the political agreement, but stressed that the EU will now be able “deliver to Ukraine 1 million rounds what they need desperately at this very moment.”
Estonian Premier Kaja Kallas suggested at the EU leaders’ summit in February to set up a joint procurement system for purchasing arms for Ukraine in a similar way the bloc supported the development of COVID-19 vaccines and secured the supply of jabs.
Later, the Estonian government developed the plan further and proposed to provide 1 million rounds of 155 mm ammunition to Ukraine.