EU’s Borrell Says Bloc Will Keep Aid, Artillery Shells Flowing To Ukraine


By Rikard Jozwiak

(RFE/RL) — Josep Borrell, the European Union’s top diplomat, says the 27-member bloc has provided a “continuous flow” of aid to Ukraine in its nearly two-year battle against the Russian invasion, but he acknowledged that in war “it is never enough” and that assistance — especially in the form of artillery shells — will continue to be sent to Kyiv.

In an interview on February 18 with RFE/RL, Borrell said that the EU last year provided 28 billion euros ($32 billion) in aid to Ukraine and so far this year has committed 20 billion euros ($21.6 billion) in assistance.

“We have to do more, I know. It is never enough when you fight on war. It is never enough,” he said on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference.

“But don’t tell me that we are not doing [enough] every day. We do a lot. [There is] a continuous flow, a very intense flow of our ammunition going to Ukraine.

“And we have my personal commitment and [the commitment of] the member states to continue the supply,” he added.

“Ukraine needs more. Ukraine needs more,” he continued.

Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and a former Spanish politician and diplomat, said that “it will come, it will come,” speaking of badly needed additional ammunition supplies for Ukraine, especially promised artillery shells.

“We are producing. We have increased 40 percent the capacity of our production — 40 percent more,” he said.

“We were on a very low level [of arms and ammunition production] when the war started, and we are ramping up our production capacity.”

“I know it is not enough, you will tell me 1.1 million [artillery shells] is not enough. But our industry is selling the weapons to the Ukrainian armed forces. And I have been calling every day [on] member states to go and ask for more orders from the European defense industries. So, we continue doing as much as we can.”

In late January, Borrell acknowledged that the EU would fall far short of its target of sending 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine by March, saying that about half was delivered by that deadline and that the rest would be sent by the end of the year.

Kyiv has long complained that a shortage of ammunition is hampering its forces’ ability to strike back at Russian military strikes.

On February 17, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged his Western partners to deliver more weapons and ammunition to Kyiv.

The remarks in Munich came on the heels of his decision to pull his outgunned and outmanned forces out of the embattled eastern city of Avdiyivka in the face of the latest Russia onslaught there.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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