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European Commissioner says what is needed to supply million shells to Ukraine

Wednesday, 22 November 2023, 07:24

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, has insisted that by spring 2024, the production capacity of defence companies in the EU will reach one million artillery shells annually, but that Ukraine needs political will to transfer ammunition.

Source: DW with reference to Breton during a Q&A session on the commitment to provide Ukraine with one million rounds of ammunition

Details: According to Breton’s estimates, the production potential will even reach 1.3 to 1.4 million shells by the end of 2024.

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Breton noted that he came to this conclusion after visiting military-industrial companies in 15 EU countries. 

At the same time, he said that "the problem lies in the situation with contracts in general", as about 40% of production leaves Europe and goes to third countries.

In order for all the ammunition produced to be transferred to Ukraine, the EU countries should give priority to production for Ukraine. Breton said that this was his initial proposal, but it was not supported by the EU Council. 

In addition, EU member states are not currently signing enough contracts for the production of shells, he said.

"We are building the European defence market step by step. The signing of contracts will help speed up our deliveries to Ukraine," he said.

Breton emphasised that production was accelerating and the EU could quickly create additional capacity, but the political will to supply Ukraine must come first.

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