March 23, 2023
EU leaders set to sign off on Ukraine ammunition deal
EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday are set to endorse a deal to ramp up the supply of artillery shells to Ukraine…diplomats say.
The two-day European Council summit, which is also to focus on other issues, including energy supply, has been attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at a working lunch on Thursday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also addressed the meeting via video.
“We will, as always, reaffirm our unwavering commitment to assist Ukraine,” declared Charles Michel, president of the European Council, in his invitation.
The leaders of the 27 EU member states are set to sign off on a fast-track procedure to ramp up the supply of ammunition to Ukraine that was adopted during a meeting of foreign and defense ministers earlier this week.
The plan, which envisages sending 1 million rounds of artillery shells to Ukraine over the next 12 months, was mooted last month by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. It is modeled on a similar joint purchasing plan to that devised during the coronavirus pandemic to buy vaccines.
During a video call, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy thanked leaders for the initiative, a diplomat with direct knowledge of the conversation told The Associated Press.
The unnamed diplomat said Zelenskyy also asked leaders to deliver modern aircraft and long-range missiles….