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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

EU defense ministers to discuss ammunition supply and training of Ukrainian Armed Forces

Heads of defense ministries of EU member states will meet on March 7-8 at an informal meeting of the EU Council in Stockholm, reports Interfax.

A joint dinner for ministers is scheduled for Tuesday evening, the working sessions will be held on Wednesday.

The only issue on the agenda of the ministerial meeting is military assistance to Ukraine.

The heads of the military departments will first discuss the preparation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces within the framework of the EU Military Assistance Mission to Ukraine – EUMAM Ukraine.

The Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU announces that a representative of Ukraine will participate in the discussion.

Next, the ministers will consider the issue of financing the purchase of artillery shells for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

The subject of ammunition was broached during trilateral talks in Brussels between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Borrell, after the meeting, announced the need to accelerate Kiev support with ammunition.

European media have commented on the EU’s plan to supply Ukraine with ammunition. We are talking about covering the urgent needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for 155mm shells at the expense of stocks in European warehouses and at the same time increasing production to replenish depleting resources.

Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported that 3 blocks will be discussed at an informal meeting.

First: for urgent aid to Kiev, EU member states are urged to get rid of their stockpiles of shells. They will be offered Incentive: Incentive: Reimbursement by the European Peace Fund on the principle “the faster the delivery, the higher the reimbursement rate”. Norway and Canada are also invited to join this project.

Second: to ensure a rapid response to the depletion of the stocks of the armies of EU countries when the conflict drags on.

Third: strengthen the production capacity of European industry with the help of the EU budget in the medium and long term.

In Stockholm, according to this plan, there will only be discussions, without taking decisions. In the future, it will have to be officially approved at the “grand” Council of the EU before the EU summit, which will be held on March 23-24. It is expected that the leaders of the EU countries will finally decide on this plan.

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