EU Defense Ministers Consider Ammunition Aid for Ukraine
European Union defense ministers gathered in Stockholm on Wednesday (8/3) with one of the main agenda items pressing for more ammunition assistance for Ukrainian troops.
Speaking to journalists ahead of the meeting, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur advocated for EU countries to provide money to jointly procure ammunition for Ukraine, arguing that doing so would increase the capacity of the defense industry and aid EU security in the future.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that in addition to joint efforts to increase defense industry capacity, EU members must also in the short term provide ammunition quickly to Ukraine from their current stockpile. Borrell said deliveries of what is currently available could be completed in a matter of weeks.
A number of defense ministers, namely Kajsa Ollongren (Netherlands), Boris Pistorius (Germany), and Oleksii Reznikov (Ukraine) in Stockholm, Sweden, March 8, 2023. (Photo: Christine Olsson/TT News Agency via REUTERS)
“The problem is how to provide Ukraine with the ammunition it needs to continue its defense,” Borrell said.
Ukraine in particular has asked allies to provide more 155-millimeter artillery shells.
Battle at Bakhmut
The head of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeni Prighozin, said Wednesday that his units had taken control of the eastern part of the town of Bakhmut.
Russia has been trying to seize the town in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province for months.
Prighozin said Wagner’s forces controlled all the districts east of the Bakhmutka River, about half the area of the city.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday that capturing Bakhmut was essential for further offensive operations in the region.
Ukrainian leaders have said in recent days that they intend to continue fighting in Bakhmut. [uh/ab]