France to double supply of artillery shells to Ukraine, Slovakia to increase ammo production fivefold

29 March, 02:01 AM
Ammunition near the positions of Ukrainian defenders in Bakhmut (Photo:REUTERS/Lisi Niesner)

Ammunition near the positions of Ukrainian defenders in Bakhmut (Photo:REUTERS/Lisi Niesner)

France will double the supply of 155-mm artillery rounds to Ukraine starting in late March, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu told Le Figaro on March 28.

"We will provide the ground equipment necessary for Ukraine's counteroffensive: we will double the supply of 155-mm shells; from the end of March, we will provide 2,000 every month," he said.

Kyiv will soon receive SAMP-T anti-aircraft missile systems, Lecornu added.

Meanwhile, Slovakia has announced plans to increase the production of 155-mm ammunition fivefold — up to 150,000 units per year, said Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad’ at a conference on foreign and European policy in Bratislava, Bloomberg reported.

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"Slovakia can increase the production of artillery shells from 30,000 to 150,000 per year," he said.

"The figure of 150,000 can be achieved with additional EU support, which was discussed during last year's visit of Commissioner for Internal Market of the European Union Thierry Breton to Slovak arms facilities."

Nad’ added that Slovakia is already investing in capacity expansion.

On March 20, seventeen EU countries and Norway signed an agreement on the joint purchase of ammunition for Ukraine and their own national stockpiles. According to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the agreement stipulates the purchase of 1 million rounds of ammunition. Spain joined these countries shortly after.

On March 24, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced that the total number of participating countries had increased to 20.

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