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Minister: Ukraine artillery ammunition aid demonstrates EU unity

Estonia's foreign minister, Hanno Pevkur, with his Ukrainian opposite number Oleskii Reznikov, in Ramstein, Germany, Friday, April 21, 2023.
Estonia's foreign minister, Hanno Pevkur, with his Ukrainian opposite number Oleskii Reznikov, in Ramstein, Germany, Friday, April 21, 2023. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonia's recent decision to contribute to a European Union initiative to provide a million artillery rounds to Ukraine's defense forces is proof positive of how quickly friendly nations can get major aid to Ukraine, when the will is there, Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur (Reform) says.

"Estonia is moving ahead rapidly with our delivery of ammunition to Ukraine, and we will certainly continue work on subsequent aid packages," Pevkur continued, via a defense ministry press release.

"However, for bilateral cooperation, the agreement signed today provides a clear framework not only for the political level, but also for all those active in the field of defense," he went on.

Pevkur was speaking after a meeting at Ramstein, Germany, and expressed his satisfaction over the unity on continued support for Ukraine, which he said was clearly visible there.

"It was good to see that the need to continue helping Ukraine resounded through all statements, while several countries around the table also announced that they, too, will be sending ammunition to Ukraine," he added.

Minister Pevkur met his d Ukrainian counterpart Oleskii Reznikov while in Ramstein, and the pair signed a defense cooperation agreement on behalf of the two countries.

The agreement sets out a road-map for continuing cooperation and information exchange between Ukraine and Estonia in the areas of defense policy and planning, intelligence and situational awareness, defense education and training, and in other areas.

Estonia's cabinet had approved at its first meeting Thursday minister Pevkur's decision to send the urgently needed artillery ammunition to Ukraine, as part of an EU-level agreement to provide one million rounds of artillery ammunition, to aid in its defense against the Russian invasion, now in its second year.

The Ramstein Ukraine Defence Contact Group is a US-led format that met for the first time a year ago, and has met 12 times since then. The objective of the meetings is to get an overview of Ukraine's needs and the aid that donors are providing

As well as NATO and EU states, participants include Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Australia, Morocco, Qatar, and Israel.

In addition to the 155mm ammunition sent, the coalition agreed Thursday that small-arms ammo, night vision equipment and other supplies would also be supplied.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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