Belgium pledges $216 million to Czech ammunition initiative for Ukraine

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Belgium will allocate 200 million euros ($216 million) to the Czech-led initiative to purchase artillery shells for Ukraine from outside the EU, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Feb. 28.

As Ukraine faces critical ammunition shortages due to delays in U.S. aid, Czech President Pavel said that Prague identified 800,000 artillery shells abroad that could be sent to Ukraine if allies secure financing.

The overall cost of the purchase is estimated at $1.5 billion, the Financial Times reported.

"We can never match the sacrifice Ukraine is making every day," De Croo said on social media.

"But we can give President (Volodymyr Zelensky) what he requested- more ammunition to fend off the Russian aggressor."

Zelensky thanked Belgium for its commitment, saying, "Such resolute and timely actions are exactly what we need to defend freedom in Ukraine and across our Europe."

The Netherlands has pledged 100 million euros ($108.3 million) to the initiative. Other countries, including Canada and France, also publicly supported the plan.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Feb. 26 that 15 European countries had signaled support already.

Read also: France, Netherlands back Czech plan to buy ammunition for Ukraine outside EU

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