Ukraine slams EU for failing to deliver on ammo plan – POLITICO

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed the EU on Thursday for failing to “implement its own decision” to jointly purchase ammunition for Ukraine as the bloc’s members spar over how to enact the plans.

“The inability of the EU to implement its own decision on the joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine is frustrating,” Kuleba said on Twitter, marking a considerable change in tone from Kyiv toward the club it hopes to join.

EU leaders agreed last month on the idea to band together and draw money from a communal pot to help deliver Kyiv up to 1 million shells in the next 12 months as Ukraine fights off Russia’s invasion. But negotiations have hit an impasse at the ambassador level over how to spend the €1 billion set aside for joint contracts.

Kuleba said this was a test of the EU’s ability to make crucial new security decisions and whether the bloc truly has “strategic autonomy” — echoing the favorite term used by French President Emmanuel Macron when he recently stirred up controversy by saying Europe must not become “America’s followers.”

The main point of contention in the ammunition purchase talks revolves around how much to restrict the money to EU manufacturers, and whether to include companies in places like the U.S. and U.K.

France has been leading the charge to keep the money within the bloc, while others, including Poland, fear that Europe’s defense industry may not be up to the task of delivering 1 million shells to Ukraine in the promised timeframe of 12 months.

Talks will likely continue next week, meaning EU foreign ministers won’t have a deal in hand when they meet on Monday in Luxembourg to discuss the war.

“For Ukraine, the cost of inaction is measured in human lives,” Kuleba said.

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