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Ukraine urges EU to boost shell shipments

epa11134138 Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (R) and Josep Borrell (L), High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, attend a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, 07 February 2024. Borrell arrived in Kyiv to meet with top Ukrainian officials amid the ongoing Russian invasion. EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, is urging the European Union to quickly “increase” deliveries of artillery shells, essential to kyiv to counter Russian assaults.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, on Wednesday urged the European Union to quickly “increase” deliveries of artillery shells, essential to kyiv to counter Russian assaults.

The minister, who received the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borell, notably asked the Twenty-Seven to “sign long-term contracts with” Ukrainian defense companies, “reorient existing contracts for the delivery of shells to Ukraine” and “increase imports of ammunition from third countries”.

Aid of 50 billion euros over four years
Dmytro Kouleba also regretted the “confused” situation in the United States, where Congress has not been able, for months, to vote on a crucial aid package for kyiv in the face of the Russian invasion.

“Last night, I received from Washington a final report on the possible scenarios, and some of them are worthy of thrillers,” declared Dmytro Kouleba.
“Everything is very confusing, depends on many factors and can go right or left or straight,” he added, also referring to an “inextricable knot”.

He called on the United States to follow the example of the Europeans and demonstrate “its leadership in the defense of common interests.” EU leaders agreed in Brussels on Thursday to provide additional aid of 50 billion euros over four years to Ukraine.

The head of European diplomacy, for his part, called on Europeans to help Ukraine “whatever it costs”, shortly after deadly strikes on the Ukrainian capital. At least four people were killed in kyiv in a new “massive” Russian attack on Wednesday.

Ammunition deficit
Josep Borrell, like a large part of the capital’s residents, ended his night in a shelter, waiting for the end of the alert which lasted about two hours. “More than 40,000 alerts” of this type have already taken place since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2024, he recalled to the press, paying tribute to the victims of the night, alongside Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Chmyhal.

“We will never be able to match your sacrifice but we can stand alongside Ukraine in total solidarity with its people,” he stressed, on the second day of his visit to Kiev.
The supply of artillery shells is a priority for Ukraine, recalled Dmytro Kouleba during a press conference alongside Josep Borrell. Europeans must therefore commit to helping Ukraine “whatever the cost” and “as long as it takes”, he said, at a time when Kiev is demanding more arms and ammunition in its war against Russia, which will soon enter its third year.

“If you ask a soldier what he needs most, I think he would say: ammunition,” he added. Russian forces fire five times more shells than Ukrainian gunners, according to several experts. It is therefore urgent to have the capacity to sign long-term contracts with the defense industry, to launch a true “single market” for defense in the EU, he stressed.

“We feel this ammunition deficit every day,” but Russia is not winning, he assured.
Josep Borrell recalled that the Europeans will be able to deliver 1.15 million shells to Ukraine before the end of the year. They committed last year to supplying one million shells before the end of March, but delays have accumulated.

This article is originally published on .bfmtv.com

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