The war with Ukraine will be over unless the EU finds a way in weeks to speed up the provision of ammunition to Ukraine, Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs chief, warned on the final day of the Munich security conference.
He said a special meeting of EU defence ministers slated for 8-9 March will provide a chance for countries to offer ammunition from their existing stocks, adding it is taking up to 10 months for European armies to order and receive a single bullet.
“We are in urgent war mode,” he said. “This shortage of ammunition has to be solved quickly; it is a matter of weeks.” He said if it was not the war would be over.
Borrell will also table plans at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday to use the existing €3.6bn (£3.2bn) European peace facility for the EU to procure ammunition jointly on the model of the procurement of vaccines during the Covid crisis, an idea first proposed by the Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas.
Borrell said the Estonian idea would work in the medium term, but he believes the urgency of the shortages is such that it requires EU countries to draw on existing stocks. “We have to use what member states have,” he said.
“Much more has to be done and much quicker. There is still a lot to be done. We have to increase and accelerate our military support. It currently takes almost 10 months for the European army to buy a bullet for the calibre of 155mm, almost one year, and almost three years to buy an air-to-air missile. This is not in accordance with the war situation in which we live.”
Kallas, speaking at the same event, said Russia was in a wartime mode, producing ammunition across three shifts, adding there needed to be a similar war footing in Europe. She claimed defence industry executives had told her they had no orders from the EU.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.