EU countries produced only half of promised munitions for Ukraine – Reuters
155-mm artillery shells (Photo: EPA, Hannibal Hanschke)

Reuters, citing sources familiar with the figures, reported that European Union member states have delivered only 480,000 of the promised one million artillery shells to Ukraine by spring 2024. 

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In March, the EU developed a plan to provide Ukraine with one million 155-mm artillery shells, one of the key weapons in a full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war.

The plan consisted of three parts: supplies from EU army stockpiles, investments in domestic production, and orders for shells from arms companies under a joint procurement scheme coordinated by the European Defense Agency.

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The agency wrote that in September, the European Defense Agency reported that seven countries had ordered ammunition through a pioneering joint procurement scheme. Lithuania, Denmark and Luxembourg said they were among the seven countries. The sources told Reuters that the total amount was only 60,000 shells at the time.

Reuters noted that one option for EU members was to supply from existing stockpiles, which would have yielded about 300,000 shells and missiles.

Other ammunition, according to the sources, was ordered under a scheme that allows EU countries to participate in contracts signed by one "leading country."

The agency added that some sources claim that many EU governments have not backed up statements of long-term support for Ukraine by placing orders with arms companies. Others insist that the industry needs time to ramp up production.

On November 14, 2023, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that the EU would not be able to supply Ukraine with a million artillery shells until the spring of 2024.

On November 17, Latvian President Edgars Rinkevičs said that the European Union should start purchasing ammunition for Ukraine from third countries, as it will not be able to deliver the promised million shells by the spring of 2024.