This is said in a statement on the website of the European Council, Ukrinform reports.
It is noted that the assistance measure will finance the provision to the Ukrainian Armed Forces of 155-mm-calibre artillery rounds and, if requested, missiles which will be jointly procured by EU member states from the European defence industry.
“Today’s decision is another major step to deliver more ammunition to Ukraine. The Ukrainian Armed Forces need substantial amounts of ammunition to defend the Ukrainian people and territory. They need it fast. Together with the previous decision to swiftly provide ammunition from existing stocks, we are committing €2 billion to this purpose, bringing the total EU military support to Ukraine to €5.6 billion,” said Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
According to the European Council, the measure will support joint procurement of ammunition and missiles from economic operators established in the EU or Norway. The supply chains of these operators may include operators established or having their production outside the EU or Norway. The measure will also cover deliveries of ammunition and missiles which have undergone an important stage of their manufacturing in the EU or Norway which consists of final assembly.
To be eligible for EPF reimbursement, procurement contracts or purchase orders will need to be concluded before 30 September 2023 in the context of an existing European Defence Agency (EDA) project or through complementary joint acquisition projects led by a member state.
It is noted that today’s decision implements track 2 of the Council agreement of 20 March 2023 on a three-track approach intended to speed up the delivery and joint procurement of artillery ammunition with a view to providing one million rounds of artillery ammunition to Ukraine within twelve months following the Council agreement.
Track 1, for which the EU also allocated €1 billion, also allowed the EU to reimburse member states for ground-to-ground and artillery ammunition as well as missiles donated to Ukraine from existing stocks or from the reprioritisation of existing orders for the period to 31 May 2023.
Track 3 of the ammunition package, in the form of an Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP), has been adopted by the European Commission on 3 May 2023.
In addition, the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine) continues to enhance the military capability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, reinforced with two EPF assistance measures worth €61 million to finance the provision of equipment necessary for the training.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba welcome the European Council’s decision. “I welcome the EU Council’s long-awaited approval of the second €1 billion tranche for the joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine. This step strengthens Ukraine’s long-term defence capabilities and resilience in order to defeat Russian aggression,” he wrote on Twitter.
As reported, on March 2, 2023, EU High Representative Josep Borrell received a request from Ukraine for assistance in the supply of 155mm artillery shells.