The ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia has been a cause of concern for the international community for nearly eighteen months since it erupted in early 2022. In response to Kyiv’s need for artillery shells, the European Union (EU) has undertaken a significant initiative to provide support.

The EU’s efforts to supply Ukraine with artillery shells have garnered attention, especially after recent developments in the delivery process. This article delves into the details of this report, exploring the scope of assistance, the challenges faced, and the road ahead.

The EU’s Commitment to Aid Ukraine

The EU’s commitment to aid Ukraine in its fight against Russia was highlighted by a plan to provide a million artillery rounds over a 12-month period. This initiative was set in motion earlier this year when the 27-nation bloc pledged to enhance the supply of much-needed artillery shells to Kyiv.

The plan involved utilizing a 2-billion-euro ($2.18-billion) budget to tap into member states’ stockpiles and coordinate joint orders for shells.

First Stage: Deliveries and Challenges

The first stage of the plan, which lasted from February 9 to May 31, witnessed the delivery of approximately 223,800 artillery shells, including long-range self-propelled and precision-guided ammunition, as well as mortar ammunitions, along with 2,300 missiles of various types. These deliveries were valued at 1.1 billion euros ($1.21-billion), partly reimbursed by the EU funds.

However, despite these efforts, it became evident that the first stage fell short of its one-million-shell target. Even though the deliveries were substantial, the goal remained unmet, prompting discussions about the feasibility of achieving the initial objective.

EU’s Defense Agency Involvement and Future Prospects

The second part of the EU’s plan involves negotiations between its defense agency and European manufacturers for the procurement of 155-mm howitzer shells and missiles. The agency is working towards establishing framework contracts with industry players, with the expectation that these contracts will be signed in the coming weeks. Member states can then proceed to place orders under this arrangement. The importance of concluding these contracts by the end of September cannot be understated, as they fall within the ambit of the EU’s supply plan.

Challenges and Skepticism

From the outset, skepticism has surrounded the feasibility of delivering a million shells to Ukraine within the stipulated timeframe. Some EU member states expressed concerns about achieving this ambitious target, fearing that logistical challenges and other complexities might hinder the process. For one, the EU’s most senior diplomat Josep Borrell warned in March that there would be “difficulties” if members failed to reach a deal to replenish Kyiv’s fast-dwindling stocks. The recent figures reinforce these reservations, as the deliveries have fallen short of expectations.

Transatlantic Support: United States Involvement

In addition to the EU’s efforts, the United States has also extended substantial support to Ukraine. The Pentagon reported that as of July 25, the Biden administration had committed over $43.7 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, including tons of artillery rounds and ammunition, infantry arms and equipment, air defense systems, air-to-ground missiles, manned aircraft, explosive and combat drones, ground support vehicles, satellite services, surveillance drones, radar and communication equipment, and tanks and armored carriers, such as the 31 Abrams tanks, to name a few.

Its most recent military aid package worth $200 million includes missiles for the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and the Patriot air defense system to help sustain and boost Kyiv’s counteroffensive efforts. The aid also comprises munitions for howitzers and tanks, Javelin rockets, mine-clearing equipment, 12 million rounds of small arms ammunition, and demolition munitions, and Ukrainian troops struggle to hold in the frontlines against Russia’s well-entrenched defenses, more ammunitions and weaponry will likely be needed. Following this, the White House requested the US Congress, seeking, yet again, an additional $13 billion for new military expenditures aimed at supporting Ukraine.

“For people who might be concerned the costs are getting too high, we’d ask them what the costs — not just in treasure but in blood, perhaps even American blood — could be if Putin subjugates Ukraine,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby last week, as cited by PBS News.

That’s why other allies like the EU needed to increase their efforts to reach their promised assistance. Nonetheless, such initiatives underline the transatlantic solidarity in aiding Ukraine’s defense capabilities.


The European Union’s initiative to provide artillery shells to Ukraine demonstrates its commitment to supporting countries facing security challenges. Despite challenges and skepticism, the ongoing efforts signify a unified stance against aggression and a commitment to aiding Kyiv’s defense capabilities. As negotiations continue and contracts are finalized, the focus remains on efficiently delivering the necessary resources to bolster Ukraine’s defense against Russia’s aggression. The situation serves as a testament to the complex dynamics of international relations and the willingness of nations to come together in times of crisis.