Germany is in negotiations with the Netherlands and Denmark on the joint procurement of ammunition, a defense source told Reuters on Wednesday, as Western countries scramble to replenish stocks depleted by donations to Ukraine.
“Germany is ready to open its framework contracts (for the procurement of ammunition) to our partners as Defense Minister Boris Pistorius pledged earlier this year,” the source said, without giving details on the kind of ammunition.
An EU program for the joint procurement of ammunition in the 27-nation bloc to support Ukraine meanwhile is making slow headway.
In a landmark step, EU countries agreed in March on a plan worth some 2 billion euros ($2.18 billion) to provide 1 million artillery shells or missiles to Ukraine within 12 months but five months later, the EU hasn’t even reached a quarter of its target.
National efforts by the countries have yielded about 224,000 ammunition rounds and 2,300 missiles, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said last week, but no orders have yet been announced as part of the joint procurement scheme.
The war in Ukraine has developed into an intense attritional conflict with both sides firing thousands of artillery shells every day, making such rounds a key element on the battlefield and meaning they now are in very short supply across the West.