(NationRise.com) – NATO officially signed a $1.2 billion contract to produce tens of thousands of artillery shells to replenish the stocks of its member nations as they keep supplying Ukraine to help it counter the Russian invasion. The contract officially allows for the purchase of nearly 230,000 rounds of 155-millimeter ammunition, which NATO’s procurement and support agency points out is the most widely sought along with artillery shells. Different reports noted the contract is good news for the Ukrainian government as it will backfill NATO allies’ arsenals so they could keep providing Kyiv with more ammunition.
During a press conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the contract represents an important step to defend “our own territory” and to build up the stocks of every NATO member nation. He also said it was crucial to keep supporting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as the treaty organization can’t allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to “win in Ukraine.” When asked why, Stoltenberg told reporters that a Russian victory would be a tragedy not only for Ukraine but also for Europe.
According to estimates from the European Union, Ukraine was firing between 4,000 and 8,000 artillery shells every single day last summer, while Russian armed forces were firing over 20,000 shells daily. Military experts have said that Ukraine needs a massive amount of help to match Russia’s firepower, as Moscow’s arms industry is one of the most powerful in the world.
Despite the contract signing, the NATO agency pointed out that the shells will take a while to arrive, as delivery on orders usually takes between 24 and 36 months. Various media outlets noted that the EU’s plans to produce one million artillery rounds for Kyiv fell short, with only a third of the target met.
Political analysts have claimed that the contract signed by NATO is just a tiny fraction of the nearly $50 billion that the United States has sent to Ukraine since the war started in 2022. Some US politicians and public figures have said the White House has committed a mistake in spending so much money in a war that Ukraine will most likely lose.
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