A report says France has spoken out against an EU proposal of purchasing ammunition from third countries for financing munitions supplies to Ukraine.
France is blocking the unanimous decision of the European Union on financing munitions supplies to Ukraine as it opposes the idea of procurement outside the EU, Polish news agency PAP reported on Wednesday, citing a senior EU official.
On March 20, the EU agreed on a 2-billion-euro ($2.2 billion) plan to supply Ukraine with ammunition rounds. One-half of the sum should be spent on reimbursing munition supplies from the warehouses of EU countries, but there is not enough ammunition stored there.
France has spoken out against purchasing ammunition from third countries, which has been proposed by the EU, according to PAP.
Another issue is the refinancing of munition supplies due to the EU plan stating that the reimbursement will be made based solely on Ukraine’s requests, whereas France wants this provision to be dropped, the news agency reported.
Paris has insisted on refinancing all supplies to Ukraine, even if some of them could be excessive and not asked for by Kiev, the report highlighted.
France’s weapon industry could be behind the country’s current position, with arms companies reportedly lobbying to create a mechanism ensuring constant munitions exports to Ukraine regardless of Kiev’s requests, sources told the Polish news agency.
EU military circles doubt feasibility of getting 1M shells to Ukraine
A couple of days ago, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag cited sources as saying that military circles in Brussels are questioning the EU’s plan to deliver 1 million 155-mm munitions to Ukraine within the next 12 months because, among other things, assembling such a large batch could take more than a year.
The newspaper pointed out that the plan is unlikely to go through, with some EU members advocating placing an order for artillery shells from the European Defence Agency, while others suggested purchasing the artillery shells outside of Europe.
According to several diplomats, France is pressing for the money to remain within EU borders. Greece and Cyprus have also supported Paris, which some officials believe is motivated by a wish to prevent contracts from being awarded to Turkish manufacturers.