Seventeen EU member states and Norway have agreed to jointly procure ammunition to “aid Ukraine and replenish national stockpiles,” the European Defence Agency (EDA) said in a news release on Monday.
Earlier Monday, Estonia’s Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur said that following a meeting in Brussels, European Union member states had agreed on the joint procurement of one million rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition for Ukraine.
“The project opens the way for EU Member States and Norway to proceed along two paths: a two-year, fast-track procedure for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year project to acquire multiple ammunition types,” the European Defence Agency said.
The 18 European nations include: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Norway.
The EDA said that this project “sends a clear message to industry and strengthens the EU’s support for Ukraine following Russia’s war of aggression,” adding that more countries have expressed intent to join the initiative.
“Today, we take a step forward. We are delivering on our promises to provide Ukraine with more artillery ammunition. With today’s signature, 18 countries have signed up to aggregate orders and place them together with the industry through the European Defence Agency. The Ukrainian authorities have been clear about their needs and this EDA project is part of the EU response. By procuring together through the EDA framework and mobilising financial support from the European Peace Facility, we will deliver to Ukraine more and faster. We are again breaking a taboo and unlocking the potential of EU cooperation in joint procurement,” EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said.
According to the EDA, the agency has been working since November of last year to identify critical shortfalls on three areas: ammunition, soldier systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) equipment.
This project provides a seven-year framework “to commonly procure multiple types and calibers of ammunition (5.56 mm to 155 mm) to replenish national stocks.”