EU Defense Ministers Consider Ammunition Aid for Ukraine

European Union foreign ministers gathered Wednesday in Stockholm with a push to provide more ammunition to Ukrainian forces high on their agenda. 

Speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting, Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur advocated for EU countries to provide money to jointly procure ammunition for Ukraine, arguing that effort will boost the capacity of the industry and help EU security in the future. 

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters that in addition to a joint effort to expand defense industry capacity, EU members should also in the short term provide ammunition quickly to Ukraine from their existing stocks.  Borrell said sending what is available now could be accomplished in a matter of weeks. 

“The issue is how to provide the ammunition Ukraine needs to continue defending,” Borrell said. 

Ukraine has asked in particular for allies to provide more 155-millimeter artillery rounds. 

Bakhmut fighting 

The head of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries, Yevgeni Prighozin, said Wednesday its units had taken control of the eastern part of the city of Bakhmut. 

Russia has been trying to seize the city in Donetsk province in eastern Ukraine for months. 

Prighozin said Wagner forces controlled all districts east of the Bakhmutka River, which would represent about half of the city. 

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday that seizing Bakhmut was important for launching further offensive operations in the region. 

Ukrainian leaders have said in recent days they intend to keep fighting in Bakhmut.   

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters. 

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