Last month, the EU countries agreed on their plan to produce and transfer to Ukraine one million 155mm artillery ammunition within the next 12 months, however, there are some "gaps" in the roadmap that could slow down the implementation.
On Wednesday, April 5, during the discussion of the ammunition plan, EU ambassadors could not reach an agreement on the following issue: the partners within the initiative still cannot decide whether they would give contracts for the production of ammunition only to the companies from the EU or to foreign manufacturers as well, Politico reports citing own sources.
In fact, we should recall that this problem arose even before this plan was agreed upon: as early as mid-March, reports said France was stalling the process precisely because of the above-mentioned reason: the country did not want the contracts to be awarded to companies located outside the EU member states.
As noted by Politico, Greece and Cyprus support France on that point – primarily because they want to avoid ammunition contracts being awarded to Turkish companies.
On the other hand, with the pull limited to only European manufacturers, there is a chance that weapon makers will not be able to ramp up the production of ammunition quickly enough due to the lack of raw materials for artillery shells.
Thus, in order to finally solve all the problems connected with this plan, the European Commission has to present some sort of a "companies' capacity map", probably in order to understand whether EU companies alone can ensure the supply of the necessary amount of ammunition.
The bottom line is that while the general plan has not been agreed upon, the countries are focused on giving Ukraine as much ammunition as possible, most likely, from their own stockpiles. The official statement on the meeting results and maybe some details about further ammunition supplies are expected to be published next week.
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