France is also on board: Prague’s ammunition plan for Kiev is gaining momentum

France also on board
Prague’s ammunition plan for Kiev is gaining momentum

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The lack of ammunition is slowing down Ukraine’s defense against the Russian aggressor. The Czech Republic is launching an initiative to buy 800,000 artillery shells outside the continent together with EU partners. Macron is now also pledging his support.

After a long period of hesitation, France supports the Czech initiative to procure around 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine from countries outside the EU. The project is very useful and people will take part in it, announced French President Emmanuel Macron after a meeting with his Czech colleague Petr Pavel in Prague.

Ministers from both countries should now suggest ways to implement it. The initiative involves looking for ammunition wherever it is available, explained Macron. The project could be financed bilaterally or through the European Peace Facility – the latter of which France had previously rejected.

The European Peace Facility is an EU financing instrument that was created before the start of the war in Ukraine to provide military support to partner countries. The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Denmark and Lithuania, among others, had previously pledged money for the Czech initiative.

South Korea, South Africa and Türkiye possible suppliers

Lithuania pledged its support on Monday. Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said in Vilnius that she promised this to her Czech counterpart Petr Fiala in a telephone conversation. “Lithuania will contribute to all international efforts that bring Ukraine closer to their and our victory,” Simonyte wrote on X. Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote about the forwarded post: “Whatever it takes.”

Ukraine has been complaining for months about an increasing shortage of artillery ammunition in its fight against the Russian invasion. Ex-NATO General Pavel said at the Munich Security Conference in mid-February that around half a million 155 mm caliber rounds and 300,000 122 mm caliber rounds had been “identified” abroad. Media speculate that the ammunition could come from countries such as South Korea, South Africa and Turkey. The Czech initiative is a response to the EU’s plan to deliver one million shots to Ukraine stalling.

Germany and France also want to work together to procure ammunition for Ukraine on the world market. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and French department head Stephane Sejourne agreed on this at a meeting in Paris, according to delegation circles. The conversation was about how Germany and France could support Ukraine “with very specific measures,” “for example by procuring ammunition worldwide,” it said.

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