Poland, EU seek to boost munitions production

WARSAW, Poland (AP) —

Officials from Poland and the European Union on Monday discussed artillery munitions manufacturing as part of a new, 2 billion euro ($2.2 billion) program to supply Ukraine in its war against invading Russian forces and to replenish Europe’s dwindling stocks.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton visited DEZAMET S.A. munition plant in Nowa Deba, in southeast Poland, accompanied by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.

The visit came just days after Brussels announced a program to reimburse countries offering artillery ammunition to Ukraine from a 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) fund. The program also aims to spend an equal amount on increasing production in 11 countries with such manufacturing capacity.

Breton said the EU is “determined” to quickly do what is needed in light of a conflict that’s expected to drag on. He also encouraged other EU countries to transfer ammunition to Ukraine as soon as possible.

Morawiecki said munitions are what’s most urgent needed by Ukraine’s armed forces with Kyiv slated to receive a million rounds later this year.

He said Ukraine uses up to 6,000 artillery shells daily as opposed to Russian forces which use 50,000 rounds of various types of ammunition per day.

The officials said Europe needs to urgently increase its ammunition output and urged EU member states to transfer their existing stocks to Ukraine.

The visit came as Russian forces continued to shell areas in Ukraine’s partially occupied eastern Donetsk region, killing and injuring civilians.

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