Ukrainian officials detail EU promises of financial aid and ammunition as war enters third year

Ukrainian officials say they have received reassurances from European leaders that new aid would be forthcoming, amid concerns in Kiev about wavering Western support in its war against Russia.

In a statement on X, Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he had had a call Saturday with European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell and received assurances that European states would step up deliveries of critically needed artillery ammunition.

“Artillery shells are the absolute priority right now,” Kuleba wrote.

“By the end of March, the EU plans to deliver almost 170.000 rounds to Ukraine and is working to further increase the volume of deliveries.”

In an interview with CNN, Kuleba said Ukrainian troops are suffering from a major shortage of artillery ammunition and other weapons, adding, “We are suffering from a severe shortage of artillery shells and other types of weapons.”

He stated that Ukrainian troops are under pressure from superior Russian forces. The White House had previously warned that the funds at its disposal to support Ukraine are exhausted, and there will be no new supplies of weapons and ammunition until the US Congress approves additional funding.

The EU has fallen short on previous commitments to boost ammunition production to supply Ukrainian forces, who have been significantly outgunned by Russian artillery.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also stated in a statement he had met with Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, during her visit to Kyiv.

The European Union recently agreed a funding deal worth more than $50 billion for Ukraine after funds had been blocked by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Smyhal added von der Leyen informed him that a first tranche of EUR 4.5 billion ($4.9 billion) from that package would be disbursed in March.

The Ukrainian prime minister noted the two also discussed the situation on the Ukrainian-Polish border, where Polish farmers have blockaded the border to protest cheap Ukrainian agricultural imports.

Also on Saturday, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine’s accession to the military alliance is only a question of time, though NATO leaders are still seeking to overcome divisions on the second anniversary of the war with Russia.

Stoltenberg made the remarks in a recorded message to mark the second anniversary of “Russia’s military operation” in Ukraine.

“Ukraine will join NATO. It is not a question of if, but of when. As we prepare you for that day, NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine. For your security, and for ours.”

Stoltenberg added Russian President Vladimir Putin had started the operation to close the door to eventual NATO membership for Kiev, “but he has achieved the exact opposite”.

“Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever before.”

Stoltenberg also said the battlefield situation in Ukraine “remains extremely serious”, but underscored the commitment of allies to continue delivery of weapons and economic support for Kyiv.

“The situation on the battlefield remains extremely serious,” he stated, adding, “President Putin’s aim to dominate Ukraine has not changed.

“And there are no indications that he is preparing for peace. But we must not lose heart.”

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