France delays EU effort to supply shells to Ukraine – Telegraph – RT World News

Paris prioritizes the well-being of its own industries over support for kyiv, a European diplomat tells the newspaper

France is slowing down EU plans to help Ukraine replenish its dwindling shell stocks amid its conflict with Russia, European sources have told The Telegraph.

Paris is seeking guarantees that a 2 billion euro deal for member states to jointly procure ammunition for kyiv would only involve shells produced inside the bloc, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.

He said French officials made the request during discussions on an EU plan to supply the Ukrainian army with one million 155mm artillery shells.

Under the proposal, EU countries would receive cash incentives from Brussels so they could coordinate with each other and place large joint orders that would motivate manufacturers to increase production.

“Many Member States” are at odds with France, insisting that dealing with manufacturers outside the bloc, which may already have the required production capacity, would be more efficient, an EU diplomat told The Telegraph.

“If we want to act immediately, which is necessary, it is very important to allow non-European companies to participate in the programme,” he added. he explained.

The diplomat shared the opinion with the newspaper that “Paris clearly favors EU spending on its own industries over supporting Ukraine.”

So far, EU countries have supplied Kyiv with some 350,000 155mm artillery shells. Brussels has reimbursed 450 million euros ($477 million) to its members, at an estimated cost of 1,285 euros ($1,362) per shell, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper said, citing Western intelligence, that Ukraine was firing around 6,000 artillery shells a day. Meanwhile, Russia uses 20,000 shells a day, roughly the same amount as EU defense companies produce in a month, it is added. There were other reports during the conflict suggesting that the number of rounds fired by Russian forces was several times higher.

Moscow has long denounced arms and ammunition deliveries to Ukraine by the US and EU, arguing that these only serve to intensify and prolong the fighting, without changing their final outcome. . According to Russia, arms deliveries, intelligence sharing and training provided to Kyiv troops and other forms of assistance have already made Western nations de facto parties to the conflict.

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