EU defense ministers discuss formulas for sending more ammunition to Ukraine at a key moment in the war

The West keeps all the lights on and tries not to stop the machinery against Russia either. Ukraine has to resist. And it is that the war has entered a key moment, and all parties are aware. Ukraine is crying out for more ammunition and weapons, and the EU is looking for the formula to pick up the gauntlet. This Tuesday and Wednesday the EU defense ministers meet in Stockholm to make the claims of the Government of Volodimir Zelenski a reality, and although formal decisions cannot come out of the meeting, it will serve to prepare the next European Council this month, where everything will take much more form as long as there is a consensus that is not easy to achieve.

The ministers hope to have the presence of their Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksii Reznikov, to learn first-hand about the situation in his country, and the German and Polish commanders of the EU military assistance mission to Ukraine. But the part that will generate the most debate will be dedicated to possible options to speed up supply and production of artillery ammunition, as well as to undertake joint procurement and increase the production capacity of the European industry.

As advances The countrythe European Commission plans to use 1,000 million euros from the community budget to finance the shipment of material to Ukraine and also the replenishment of reserves of the Member States that have been depleted in the last year. However, three different ways are being handled to address this common ‘purchase’, initially raised by Estonia and which requires nuances because on paper the Treaties do not allow the use of community funds for the purchase of weapons.

First of all, raises the delivery to Ukraine “as soon as possible” of ammunition reserves, mainly 155-millimeter, that countries already have in their inventories. To facilitate your donation, the EU proposes “incentives” such as a higher proportion of reimbursement for shipments that leave earlier. Thus, the countries must agree on the times and the reimbursement rate, but community sources gave as an example that 90% of the ammunition delivered before the end of April can be reimbursed, a percentage -more favorable than the current one- that will decrease as shipments will be made in the following weeks.

The second track involves assuring countries that their arsenals will be quickly replenished, and to do so It is contemplated that the European Defense Agency develops a project in which it has been working to make joint purchases, or that several Member States promote consortia for this. On the other hand, the third possibility is to guarantee production in the longer term with joint orders to the industry, in which they want to invest 500 million euros from the community budget for 2022-2024. To do this, the EU wants to speed up the approval of the so-called common procurement law (EDIRPA) proposed by the European Commission last July.

All in all, it is a very complicated issue to deal with, despite the fact that the formula seems similar to that used for the common purchase of vaccines during the Covid-19 pandemic. Daniel Gil, analyst at The Political Roomexplain to 20 minutes that “it is a much more complicated issue than the common purchase of vaccines, of course”, but he does not see it as impossible. In addition, Gil does not believe that what the Treaties say is an insurmountable brake: “This is like everything, if it wants to be done, it will be done”although that does not prevent the Union from treading on swampy ground because, again, it would be an unprecedented decision.

Yevgueni Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner group, in the video the one who warns the Kremlin about the situation in Bakhmut.

“The Treaties do not specifically allow giving European funds for armaments but a couple of adjustments are made, a couple of names are changed and it is done“, quickly sums up the analyst. The key is in own production, and here the Baltics appear, who consider it key to “develop the European Defense industry, since it has greater capacity than it shows”.

Now, on the other side, the industry itself “assures that why is it going to produce more if it does not have orders”. That could change with the formula for Ukraine. Gil assumes, however, that everything would have to be done “with own production precisely to justify the use of European funds.” Therefore, he would not have to go to third countries, buy the weapons and later donate them to kyiv. “The pitfalls in these cases are always political, never legal”, sentence Gil. The season has been opened.

Russia is “missile hungry”

On the other hand, the spokesman of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Yurii Ignat, has warned that the Russian Army is “hungry for missiles”, so from Moscow they will do “everything possible” for getting new weapons to fight in the war. “Everyone believes that Russian missiles are running out. But there is no need to jump to conclusions. Russia will do everything possible to get as many weapons as possible in the war against Ukraine,” Ignat said, according to Ukrinform.

According to the military spokesman, Russia now sees itself in need of responding to some of its high military commanders, who have complained about a lack of weapons, and it is likely that for this “it will look in third countries to buy both projectiles and drones.” In this sense, Ignat has appealed to the Ukrainian military authorities not to relax and to continue guaranteeing the country’s territorial defense, acquiring anti-aircraft systems and repelling drone attacks.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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