The EU is seeking countries outside the bloc to join its efforts to collectively provide ammunition, with at least Norway already expressing interest, according to one EU official and two diplomats.
The push is part of an EU plan to help provide larger quantities of lower-cost ammunition for Ukraine, while also boosting Europe’s capacity to produce and resupply its own dwindling stocks. Canada could also be included in the scheme, added a second EU official, who, like the other officials and diplomats, spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The first step, as POLITICO first reported this week, is to dedicate at least €1 billion specifically to buy 155mm artillery shells — a much-needed munition in Ukraine’s fight against Russia. In theory, the more participating countries that take part, whether they’re in or out of the EU, the easier it will be to find the money and negotiate bigger contracts.
“It makes a lot of sense,” said Kusti Salm, the permanent secretary for Estonia’s Defense Ministry. “We see that these nations are very eager to support Ukraine and join all these types of initiatives.” [Continue reading…]