EU ambassadors fail to agree on joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine again

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European Union ambassadors failed to agree on joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine on Wednesday, and it is unclear whether a compromise will be reached on Friday.

Source: RMF FM

Quote: "The supply of ammunition from the EU to Ukraine is causing more and more embarrassment," one Western diplomat said.

The EU has promised Ukraine 1 million units of ammunition by the end of the year, both from the warehouses of the EU countries and within the framework of joint purchases. Deliveries from their own warehouses are slowing down a lot. To date, EU countries have shipped less than 40,000 munitions.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, posted a letter in which he called on the defence ministers of 27 countries to pay attention to this problem. The idea is that they should review their stocks because it is hard to believe that they have nothing left, the RMF FM interviewer said.

Tensions and irritation are also growing among EU member states over the behaviour of France, which is blocking joint purchases of ammunition. This topic was discussed today by the ambassadors of the EU countries. France wants all munitions production and arms supply chains to be European.

"You cannot define the European arms industry that way," one of the EU diplomats explains, "because we will never supply ammunition to Ukraine."

"Even if the production is in an EU country, and the gunpowder for the ammunition comes from South Korea, France does not want to approve," an irritated diplomat of the Western country said.

Italy put forward a compromise proposal that made France even less receptive. Sweden, which presides over the EU, has announced that it will not put the issue to a vote of EU ambassadors on Friday unless it is certain that there is agreement from all 27 countries. Unanimity is required in this matter. And delaying the vote will again lead to delays in deliveries.

"Some people think that there is no hurry," one of the diplomats said, irritated by France's position, "while Ukraine is bleeding."

On Monday, before the start of the meeting of EU foreign ministers, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, admitted that disagreements over the second stage of the EU's plan to provide Ukraine with more ammunition remain.

The European Union countries agreed to buy ammunition from companies from the EU and Norway, which has close economic ties with the European Union. But, according to diplomats, France insists that only companies from Europe should be involved in the plan.

This position disappointed other EU members, in particular, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. They expressed scepticism that European industry is capable of quickly producing a sufficient number of shells to meet Ukraine's urgent needs.

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