Ukraine updates: EU agrees to start joint arms procurement

Credit: DW News

EU countries agreed to buy more shells to help Ukraine but still have to work out the specifics. Ukraine and the UN chief called for an extension of the Black Sea grain deal. DW has the latest.

EU countries on Wednesday agreed to speed up supplies of artillery rounds and buy more shells to help Ukraine but still have to work out how to turn these aims into reality.

Under a plan drawn up by foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, EU states would get financial incentives worth €1 billion ($1.06 billion) to send more of their artillery rounds to Ukraine while another €1 billion would fund joint procurement of new shells.

“There has been a general agreement on this procedure but there are questions pending. Everything has to be discussed in detail,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Stockholm also attended by their Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.

Borrell said he hoped the plan would be finalized at a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers on March 20.

However, Reznikov had urged the ministers in Stockholm to support an Estonian plan for EU countries to come together to buy one million 155mm shells this year at a cost of €4 billion to help Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion and launch a counter-offensive.

Borrell’s plan is smaller in scale but would still be a landmark step for the EU as defense procurement has largely been the preserve of the bloc’s individual member governments.

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EU countries agreed to buy more shells to help Ukraine but still have to work out the specifics. Ukraine and the UN chief called for an extension of the Black Sea grain deal. DW has the latest.

EU countries on Wednesday agreed to speed up supplies of artillery rounds and buy more shells to help Ukraine but still have to work out how to turn these aims into reality.

Under a plan drawn up by foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, EU states would get financial incentives worth €1 billion ($1.06 billion) to send more of their artillery rounds to Ukraine while another €1 billion would fund joint procurement of new shells.

“There has been a general agreement on this procedure but there are questions pending. Everything has to be discussed in detail,” Borrell said after a meeting of EU defense ministers in Stockholm also attended by their Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov.

Borrell said he hoped the plan would be finalized at a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers on March 20.

However, Reznikov had urged the ministers in Stockholm to support an Estonian plan for EU countries to come together to buy one million 155mm shells this year at a cost of €4 billion to help Ukraine fight Russia’s invasion and launch a counter-offensive.

Borrell’s plan is smaller in scale but would still be a landmark step for the EU as defense procurement has largely been the preserve of the bloc’s individual member governments.

Read more of this report

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