Sports

Russia-Ukraine war live: Germany says EU target of 1m pieces of ammunition for Ukraine will not be met


German defence minister questions ammunition target

The EU’s goal to supply Ukraine with 1m rounds of ammunition will not be reached, the German defence minister, Boris Pistorius, has said as member states meet in Brussels to discuss how to increase supplies.

“It is safe to assume that the 1m rounds will not be reached,” he told reporters arriving at the summit of defence ministers.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the target involved stockpiles and new production but one of the issues was “40% of the production is being exported” outside the bloc.

He said ministers would be scrutinising how to boost supply to Ukraine, with one option to work on how to shift production earmarked for export back to Ukraine.

Key events

Lisa O’Carroll

The EU will miss its target of supplying Ukraine with 1m artillery shells and missiles by next March, the German defence minister has said.

Boris Pistorius’s comments, the first public admission by a senior European minister that the target would not be met, were made before a summit of EU defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday.

“It is safe to assume that the one million rounds will not be reached,” Pistorius said. Diplomats and officials have been expressing scepticism privately for months about the goal.

The target was set in response to Ukraine’s urgent need for 155mm artillery shells.

The EU agreed earlier this year on a three-pronged approach to boost supplies as it emerged that Ukraine was burning through ammunition faster than the US and Nato could produce it.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said as he arrived at the summit that the bloc had provided more than 300,000 artillery shells and missiles under the first track of the scheme, which involved EU member states delivering from their own stockpiles.

He said the focus was now on the second element of the scheme, in which EU countries order new shells from industry under a joint procurement initiative.

Borell suggested that an immediate issue was the export commitments of EU defence manufacturers outside the bloc. “So maybe what we have to do is to try to shift this production to the priority one, which is the Ukrainians,” he said.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry commissioner, said arms companies were making progress in increasing production and that a separate target of boosting European production of 155mm shells to a million a year would be met.

Here are some of images from the wires of leaders at a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers at the European Council in Brussels today.

Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, speaks to the media as he arrives for the meeting
Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, speaks to the media as he arrives for the meeting. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP
Germany’s defence minister, Boris Pistorius (centre), arrives for the meeting
Germany’s defence minister, Boris Pistorius (centre), arrives for the meeting. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP
Finland’s defence minister Antti Hakkanen (left) speaks to Slovenia’s defence minister, Marjan Šarec, and Portugal’s defence minister, Helena Carreiras (right) at the meeting
Finland’s defence minister Antti Hakkanen (left) speaks to Slovenia’s defence minister, Marjan Šarec, and Portugal’s defence minister, Helena Carreiras (right) at the meeting. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

The head of Russia’s state nuclear energy company, Rosatom, said on Tuesday that it had agreed a timetable for the construction of two new reactors at the Paks-2 nuclear plant in Hungary, Reuters reports.

Lisa O'Carroll

Lisa O’Carroll

Asked if Germany’s defence minister’s claim that the EU would not meet its target of producing 1m shells for Ukraine by spring, Breton insisted it was possible.

“I’m responsible for ammunition production capacity. So I can confirm that the target of producing more than a million rounds of ammunition a year, which we set ourselves and which they [EU countries] hope to achieve from spring onwards, will be met. Now it’s up to the member states to place the orders,” he said.

EU target of producing 1m pieces of ammunition will be met, says commissioner

Lisa O'Carroll

Lisa O’Carroll

Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry commissioner, has insisted that the target of producing 1m pieces of ammunition for Ukraine would be met.

He told reporters on arrival at a defence ministers’ summit in Brussels that the figure included missiles.

“This target will be met,” he said, adding that ministers would be discussing how to increase production.

His comments came shortly after the German defence minister had said the target would not be met, and the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, that challenges lay ahead to meet it because 40% of the EU’s shells were exported outside the bloc.

He said:

I have proposed to all the defence ministers that we should reflect together, I would say, on laying the foundations for a new European defence strategy to increase our capabilities together.

We are currently discussing this so that I can present the results of these negotiations and discussions in the first quarter of next year.

I’m responsible for ammunition production capacity. So I can confirm that the target of producing more than a million rounds of ammunition a year, which we set ourselves and which they hope to achieve from spring onwards, will be met. Now it’s up to the Member States to place the orders. This is not in the hands of the Commission, of course.

Russia has signed a contract to supply its Igla handheld anti-aircraft missile to India and allow production of the Igla there under licence, Reuters reports, citing a top arms export official speaking to Russia’s state news agency Tass.

Nato to update EU on protection of undersea pipelines

Lisa O'Carroll

Lisa O’Carroll

Nato will update the EU on protection of critical infrastructure including under ocean internet cables and gas pipelines in the Baltic sea and Ukraine neighbourhood at a summit of defence ministers in Brussels today.

The Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said the recent damage to gas and internet pipelines in the Baltic connector between Estonia and Finland had already led to an increased presence in the area with Nato vessels, aircraft and drones patrolling the area.

Estonia initially said it believed a Chinese vessel had accidentally caused the damage with its anchor, but it subsequently said it did not rule out damage from a state actor.

Stoltenberg said:

We are in the process of establishing a new centre at our Maritime Command in the United Kingdom, to better coordinate efforts of allies to work with partners to work with the European Union, but also to work with the private sector to better share information and to ramp up what to do to protect critical undersea infrastructure.

He and ministers will also discuss the “difficult” situation on the battlefield, he said.

Intense fighting continues. The situation on the battlefield is difficult. And that just makes it even more important that we sustain and step up our support for Ukraine because we cannot allow a president Putin to win. Ukraine must prevail as a sovereign independent nation in Europe and it’s in our interest to support Ukraine.

German defence minister questions ammunition target

The EU’s goal to supply Ukraine with 1m rounds of ammunition will not be reached, the German defence minister, Boris Pistorius, has said as member states meet in Brussels to discuss how to increase supplies.

“It is safe to assume that the 1m rounds will not be reached,” he told reporters arriving at the summit of defence ministers.

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the target involved stockpiles and new production but one of the issues was “40% of the production is being exported” outside the bloc.

He said ministers would be scrutinising how to boost supply to Ukraine, with one option to work on how to shift production earmarked for export back to Ukraine.

EU defence ministers will be meeting today, with Ukraine and the supply of aid and ammunition on the agenda. We’ll have more details in the live blog today.

EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell speaks ahead of the European defence ministers council meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell speaks ahead of the European defence ministers council meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Russian air defences destroyed four Ukrainian drones over four Russian regions, including the Moscow region, overnight, Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the drones were destroyed in Moscow, Tambov, Orlov and Bryansk regions, the ministry said.

Opening summary

Welcome to our continuing live coverage of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Below is a summary of the latest developments.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has used his regular address to pledge to meet all the recommendations set out by the European Commission to help Ukraine on its path towards EU membership.

“For Ukraine, it is a matter of principle to implement all the recommendations of the European Commission, all seven recommendations, and fulfill everything that is required at this point of our path to the European Union,” he said.

Fighting around the shattered eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka has grown more fierce, Ukraine’s military has said, with Moscow’s forces intensifying air bombardments and trying to move forward with ground forces.

Ukrainian military spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun told national television: “Fighting is still going on. Over the last two days, the occupiers have increased the number of airstrikes using guided bombs from Su-35 aircraft.

“The enemy is also bringing in more and more infantry. But when they tried to deploy armoured vehicles the day before yesterday two tanks and 14 other vehicles were burned out.”

Vitaliy Barabash, the head of Avdiivka’s military administration, told the state news agency Ukrinform that Russian losses in the current attack on the city stood at at least 3,000-4,000 dead and a further 7,000-8,000 wounded. The Guardian has not verified his claim.

  • Hungary will block the disbursement of the next tranche of military aid to Ukraine under the European Peace Facility until Kyiv provides “guarantees” that OTP bank or other Hungarian firms will not be blacklisted as “international sponsors of war”, the country’s foreign minister said.

  • Russian shelling on Monday damaged a hospital and homes in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, killing three people and injuring at least 12, local governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.

  • Xi Jinping and Joe Biden are expected to discuss Ukraine, the Middle East, North Korea’s ties with Russia, Taiwan, human rights, artificial intelligence, in a meeting scheduled for Wednesday at the Apec summit.

  • Germany’s aid for Ukraine will be “massively expanded” next year, the foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, has said. She said: “We will not only continue our support for Ukraine, we will continue to expand and increase it, especially on the part of the Federal Republic of Germany, not only with a view to the winter defence for the coming weeks and months, when it is clear that the Russian president will once again exploit the needs of the people in the cold winter. “Our support will also be massively expanded, especially for the coming year.”

  • At least three Russian officers were killed in the Moscow-controlled Ukrainian city of Melitopol in a blast Ukraine’s intelligence said was an “act of revenge” by local resistance groups.

  • US secretary of state Antony Blinken and newly appointed British foreign secretary David Cameron discussed the Israel-Hamas conflict, relations with China and help for Ukraine during a telephone call on Monday, the state department said. “Secretary Blinken and Lord Cameron underscored continuity in the US-UK special relationship and its importance to regional and global security,” state department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a readout of the conversation.

  • Blinken promised a top Ukrainian official sustained US support including help to get through the winter, with Russia expected to strike Kyiv’s infrastructure again. Blinken met Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on a brief stop in Washington in between the top US diplomat’s latest Middle East crisis tour and an Asia-Pacific summit in San Francisco.

  • Save Ukraine, an organisation that focuses on rescuing the country’s most vulnerable people, has said its rescuers have evacuated more than 108,880 people from the frontlines since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022. It said its rescue network provided humanitarian assistance to more than 186,450 people, with its hotline operators fielding more than 161,425 calls from Ukrainians in urgent need of assistance.

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, has called for an increase in military aid to Ukraine, for decisions to be made in December on the start of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, and to speed up work on the 12th package of sanctions against Russia, the ministry of foreign affairs of Ukraine has said.

  • The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, has said Ukraine is the bloc’s top priority and that there will be “no fatigue to our commitment” to supporting the country. The EU’s 27 foreign ministers passed a united message of support for Ukraine on Monday after welcoming Kuleba.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button