BRUSSELS, July 7 (AP) The European Union took a major step earlier in the day, approving plans to increase production of munitions and missiles within the 27-nation bloc to defend itself and quickly help Ukraine attempt to deter Ukrainian military action. Russian invasion.
The EU presidency announced earlier in the day that member states and the EU Parliament reached an agreement to “emergency mobilize” a 500 million euro budget to support the ammunition production bill.
The agreement follows a March decision by EU leaders to increase supplies of much-needed ammunition to Ukraine, which was then aiming to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has firmly demanded more military aid, from munitions to planes and missiles.
ASAP is part of a plan to ship 1 million rounds to Ukraine over the next 12 months. The plan for a fast-track procurement procedure was already approved by the European Union on Friday when it approved funds to boost output at EU facilities and factories.
Spanish Defense Minister Margherita Robles said: “This once again demonstrates the EU’s unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine, strengthening the EU’s defense, technological and industrial base, and ultimately ensuring the long-term security and defense of EU citizens.” EU rotating presidency.
The United States is expected to announce on Friday that it will ship thousands of cluster munitions as part of a new $800 million military aid package, but was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly ahead of a formal announcement, according to people familiar with the matter. spoke on condition of anonymity.
Many European countries have been even slower than Washington to provide military hardware, partly because they have been hiding under the military umbrella of the United States, the NATO alliance, for decades.
“In the face of war on European soil, we can no longer ignore our defence, as we have done for the past three decades. We urgently need to adjust our budgetary priorities,” said EU Parliament member Michael Galle.
The Spanish presidency said the deal still had to be reapproved by member states and parliament again, but the process should present no major problems and should be completed by the end of the month.
Early in the war, the European Union supported Ukraine with its own ammunition reserves. But with the fighting so intense, it quickly became clear that a major effort would have to be made to boost output if EU countries were not to be reduced to political lip service to Kiev.
The war rages on relentlessly. Russia fired cruise missiles at a city in western Ukraine far from the front lines of the war on Thursday, killing at least six people in an apartment building in what officials said was the worst attack on a civilian area of Lviv since Kremlin forces invaded the city last year attack. February 2022. (Associated Press)
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