Pevkur calls on EU to back Estonia's joint ammunition procurement plan
Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) on Wednesday called on EU member states to back Estonia's joint ammunition procurement initiative which will buy one million rounds of 155 mm ammunition for Ukraine.
"Europe, we have a problem! The capacity for manufacturing artillery ammunition in Europe is too low to both help Ukraine and restore European stocks," Pevkur said in a statement after the informal EU defense ministers meeting in Stockholm.
"Therefore, it is of critical importance to push forward with the Estonian initiative to jointly procure 1 million 155 mm rounds and to do so with new money."
He said the EU must also send a clear message to the European defense industry: the money is there, now find a way to quickly shift production into the next gear.
"In one day, Russia shoots the same quantity of ammunition that Europe manages to produce in one month. Increasing ammunition stocks is a critical capability gap, which has to be repaired both for helping Ukraine as well as for our common security," added Pevkur.
The meeting was cohosted by the Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov and the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The plan to jointly buy ammunition, as the EU has previously done for coronavirus vaccines, was put forward by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) in February.
It has been backed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
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Editor: Helen Wright