Several EU member states plan to buy ammunition for Ukraine from outside Europe

Photo: EPA / SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Several European countries, including France, support the idea of ​​the European Union buying munitions produced outside Europe to continue supporting Kiev's war effort, participants at a Ukraine support conference in Paris said yesterday.

- This proposal, initiated by the Czech Republic, "enjoys great support from several countries. This is a very strong message to Russia, Czech Prime Minister Petar Fiala said after the conference, where more than 25 countries allied to Kyiv gathered in the Elysée Palace.

According to the Czech leader, about 15 countries are ready to join this initiative, which aims to respond to the shortage of ammunition, especially artillery shells, for Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron believes that the Czech proposal is "in line" with current EU policy and has announced that Paris will join it.

- We have asked non-EU countries to propose solutions and that is why we will participate in this initiative, said the French president at a press conference, adding that "the only goal is efficiency".

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his country would provide "over 100 million euros" for the Czech plan and that "other countries will follow."

Rutte declined to specify which countries outside Europe might be asked to produce the ammunition. - It is a secret, he said.

Several countries, including France, Germany and Italy, have signed bilateral security deals with Kiev in recent weeks, but the EU, which has provided 28 billion euros worth of military aid since the start of the war, is struggling to meet its commitments, particularly in relation to the missiles.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who also attended the conference in Paris, assured that EU defense ministers will present "in the next 10 days a concrete plan to strengthen the capacity to order ammunition to support the military efforts of the Ukrainian people."

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