ammunition sent at the initiative of Prague begins to arrive

ammunition sent at the initiative of Prague begins to arrive
ammunition sent at the initiative of Prague begins to arrive

While the Russian army has regained ground in Ukraine in recent months, Prague announced this Tuesday the arrival in Ukraine of the first delivery of ammunition purchased outside Europe as part of a Czech initiative, in order to cope to the invasion of Russia.

« The first shipment of ammunition from our initiative arrived in Ukraine some time ago. We do what it takes “, declared Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala on the social network X.

As a reminder, the emergency initiative carried out by Prague aims to give a breath of fresh air to the Ukrainian troops. On condition, however, that ammunition production on European soil is significantly increased very quickly. The Czech Republic would have identified “half a million rounds of 155 caliber ammunition and 300,000 rounds of 122 caliber ammunition”which could be delivered to kyiv “in a few weeks” if the necessary funding was gathered (i.e. around 1.4 billion euros), Czech President Petr Pavel estimated during a round table in Munich on February 17.

France alongside Prague in the initiative

According to Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova, 18 countries had joined the initiative by mid-June. Czech media mentioned the Baltics, Belgium, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway and Slovenia. EU countries had promised one million shells by the end of March, but were unable to deliver them due to insufficient production capacity. The Czechs then turned to third country markets, fighting with Russia for available ammunition.

France is also in the game. “The Czech initiative is extremely useful, we support it, we will participate in it. It consists of looking for ammunition wherever it is available, compatible with the equipment we have delivered”had justified Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of March, on a visit to Prague.

Ammunition for Ukraine: France will participate in the Czech Republic’s initiative

“Ukraine’s needs are at such a level that we must now look beyond what we can produce and what we have in stock, that is the meaning of this initiative. We must also seek remaining capacities from non-European third countries to meet Ukraine’s short-term needs in terms of munitions.explained the French president at the time.

According to Thomas Kopecny, Czech government envoy for the reconstruction of Ukraine, kyiv would need 200,000 shells per month for the next two years. just to achieve balance » against Russia. Despite the acceleration and increase in production in Europe as well as the delivery of available stocks of shells, European countries are very far from being able to satisfy the demands of the Ukrainians, faced with a high-intensity and very consuming war. in ammunition. For example, France should produce 4 to 5,000 shells per month by the end of the year (compared to 2,000 at the start of the war). Especially since France wishes to keep part of this production for its own forces. “We must maintain the capacity to defend ourselves”warned Emmanuel Macron on March 6.

Support measures are increasing

Behind the Czech initiative, other announcements of support have followed one another in recent weeks.

Gathered in Italy, in Bari, the members of the G7 (United States, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan) notably showed their unity to help kyiv defend itself against Russia. To this end, they have “ reached a political agreement to provide additional financial support to Ukraine of around $50 billion by the end of the year », Declared on June 14, the head of the Italian government, Giorgia Meloni, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the G7 this year. This breakthrough at the G7 and the bilateral security agreement between kyiv and Washington the same day on the sidelines of this summit “ demonstrate to Putin that he will not wear us out, that he cannot divide us », Underlined US President Joe Biden during a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart. “ The West is not backing down ».

Before that, Joe Biden had already managed to provide massive support to kyiv thanks to the vote of the American Congress releasing aid of $61 billion at the end of April. As a reminder, she remained for several months prisoner of questions of domestic politics in the United States in the middle of an election year. Since then, the United States has released some $1.4 billion in military aid from its stockpiles, mainly Patriot and NASAMS anti-aircraft systems that Ukraine sorely lacks to deal with the Russians, as well as munitions. for artillery.

France will deliver Mirage 2000-5

For its part, Paris is not left out. France will hand over Mirage 2000-5 fighters to kyiv in order to support the country which has been attacked by Russia for more than two years. The terms of this transfer remain to be defined. “Their number has not yet been made official, we are talking about a few units”confirmed to La Tribune General Stéphane Mille, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, interviewed during the Paris Air Forum 2024 on June 13.

Transfer of Mirage 2000-5 to Ukraine: the Air Force will reorganize Rafale missions

Concretely, he explains, for the Air and Space Force, “it will involve transposing some activities which are currently carried out by the Mirage 2000-5 on the Rafale fleet”. “It’s a rearticulation of missions between the Mirage 2000 fleet and the Rafale”he summarized, while specifying that the Rafale delivery schedule, provided for in the military programming law, will be ” key “in order to compensate for this transfer ” as quickly as possible “.

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