NATO signs $1.8 billion ammunition deal to benefit Ukraine

A shortage of ammunition has become a problem for Ukrainian troops fighting Russia's invasion.

A shortage of ammunition has become a problem for Ukrainian troops fighting Russia's invasion. Photo: AP

NATO has signed a 1.1 billion euro ($1.8 billion) contract for hundreds of thousands of 155mm artillery rounds, some of which will be supplied to Ukraine after Kyiv complained of ammunition shortages.

“The war in Ukraine has become a battle of ammunition,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after a signing ceremony at the Western military alliance’s headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov has said a shortage of ammunition, which he described as “shell hunger”, was a big problem for Kyiv’s troops almost two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) struck the deal on behalf of several allies who will either pass on the shells to Ukraine or use them to stock up their own depleted inventories.

A NATO official identified the buyers as Belgium, Lithuania and Spain, which pooled together to benefit from the lower prices ensured by buying in bulk.

The contract is likely to yield about 220,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, with the first deliveries expected at the end of 2025, the official told Reuters.

The shells will be supplied by French arms maker Nexter and Germany’s Junghans, according to an industry source.

Since NATO began a program to address shortfalls in allies’ military stocks last July, the NSPA has agreed deals worth some $15 billion (9.19 billion euros), Stoltenberg said.

This included artillery and tank shells and Patriot air defence missiles.

At a meeting in February, NATO defence ministers will discuss other ways to step up industrial production which the NATO chief described as necessary to enable continued Western support for Kyiv.


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