VILNIUS - Lithuania has called on the EU to speed up its efforts to jointly purchase additional artillery ammunition for Ukraine as it continues to fight against Russian invasions.
The issue was discussed by Lithuanian Minister Arvydas Anusauskas and his EU counterparts at an informal meeting of defense ministers, the Ministry of National Defense said on Wednesday.
"We need to join the international coalition's efforts and urgently provide Ukraine with necessary ammunition. We must accelerate the delivery of arms and ammunition to Ukraine and provide additional funds for the purchase of 155 mm ammunition. The size of the order must meet Ukraine's needs. We need to allocate additional funds as early as 2023," the minister said.
EU defense ministers also discussed possibilities to satisfy Ukraine's ammunition needs by increasing supplies from the countries' existing stocks.
Final political decisions on the issue are expected at the forthcoming European Council later this month.
The Ukrainian defense minister, who also attended the meeting, confirmed that the delivery of new munitions to Ukraine was one of the most important frontline needs.
EU ministers agreed to provide necessary assistance to Ukraine as soon as possible, to rebuild EU member state's depleted stocks and to promote the European defense industry.
Based on initial estimates, 15 industrial companies in 11 member states are producing munitions of the required caliber and could be part of this joint effort.