President of Latvia: EU should look for shells for Ukraine outside Europe

President of Latvia: EU should look for shells for Ukraine outside Europe

Since the European Union does not have time to provide Ukraine with artillery ammunition in time, it must look for it outside its borders.

President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs said this in an interview with Politico, Ukrinform reports.

"We have advocated for a long time that if there is not enough ammunition, or there is not enough equipment in the EU, then let's buy it somewhere else and give it to Ukraine.. It is now important that Ukraine keeps fighting and Ukraine gets what they need," Rinkēvičs said.

According to the newspaper, the question of whether all the ammunition the EU wants to give Ukraine should be produced by companies in the European Union and Norway has been controversial since the beginning of the one million rounds initiative. France, which has the largest defense sector in the EU, insisted on strict restrictions on the involvement of non-EU ammunition in the initiative. At the same time, other states, such as Sweden and the Baltic states, were more open to purchasing shells from outside Europe.

"Our current major challenge is not so much defense spending, we are raising that, but where you can actually find equipment to replenish your stocks, to rearm your defense forces," Rinkēvičs said.

He noted that we should take into account the fact that the war in Ukraine will last longer than it could have been predicted a year and a half ago. Therefore, the EU needs to increase its capabilities.

Read also: Kuleba calls for increasing military aid to Ukraine at EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting

The Latvian president also expressed concern that problems in the EU could affect the United States, where assistance to Ukraine is also facing political difficulties.

"Where I'm getting a bit concerned when I talk with Americans" is that they are living "under the impression that Europe is not giving enough" even though "we are actually spending more on Ukraine, if we combine both military and all kinds of programs, than the United States," Rinkēvičs said.

"And that's where I think that if they hear again that Europe is not able to produce enough ammunition or to give enough financial support, then this will have some negative impact also in debate in the United States because there is going to be an argument that ‘look guys, if Europe is not doing enough or if Europe doesn't care, then we shouldn't care," the Latvian president said.

As reported by Ukrinform, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the European Union will not be able to fulfill its plan to supply one million artillery shells to Ukraine by March 2024 due to the state of defense production and bureaucratic obstacles.

While citing and using any materials on the Internet, links to the website not lower than the first paragraph are mandatory. In addition, citing the translated materials of foreign media outlets is possible only if there is a link to the website and the website of a foreign media outlet. Materials marked as "Advertisement" or with a disclaimer reading "The material has been posted in accordance with Part 3 of Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On Advertising" No. 270/96-VR of July 3, 1996 and the Law of Ukraine "On the Media" No. 2849-Х of March 31, 2023 and on the basis of an agreement/invoice.

© 2015-2024 Ukrinform. All rights reserved.

Extended searchHide extended search
By period: