Supplying Ukraine with more ammunition will allow the Eastern European nation to win its war against Russia, according to Kusti Salm, permanent secretary at the Estonian Ministry of Defence.
The United States and allies in Europe have committed to ensuring that Ukrainian military forces are well-armed, donating over a million shells from their own stockpiles. However, consumption far outpaces the current production of new shells.
Whereas Ukraine fires up to 240,000 shells monthly, manufacturing facilities in the United States can only deliver fewer than 24,000 155 mm shells, the most commonly used artillery shell, at the same timeframe.
Meanwhile, Russian units fired as much as 600,000 shells per month in 2022, according to estimates.
An Estonian-led initiative will see the European Union spend about $2.14 billion to produce ammunition for Ukraine soldiers. Salm told Defense One that the promised shells would be delivered to Ukrainian forces by mid-2024.
Warning that neither the EU nor the U.S. has increased defense budgets in real terms since the war began, he made an economic proposal to persuade other nations to ensure ammunition production is on track.
“Investing into defense cannot only be a threat perception story; it also needs to be a story of competitiveness, jobs, innovation, growth experts, new factories,” the defense official said.