|France and Australia agree to produce thousands of 155mm shells to aid Ukraine. (Photo: Aa)
Under the plan outlined by EU Foreign Policy Chief Joseph Borrell EU countries will get financial incentives worth 1 billion euros to send more artillery rounds to Ukraine, while another 1 billion euros will fund joint procurement of new shells.
After a meeting of EU defense ministers in Stockholm on Wednesday, attended by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Borrell said he hopes the plan will be finalized at a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers on March 20.
Reznikov urged the ministers in Stockholm to support an Estonian plan for EU countries to come together to buy 1 million 155mm shells this year, at a cost of 4 billion euros to help Ukrainian troops.
Since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the EU has supplied artillery and weapons to Kiev through the European Peace Facility (EPF). Recently Ukraine has used more artillery shells than it produces or receives from its allies.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday called for an extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allows Kiev to export grain through ports in the Black Sea.