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Germany to send 180,000 artillery shells to Ukraine via Czech initiative

Germany has acquired 180,000 artillery shells as part of a plan to obtain a total of 800,000 shells from countries outside of Europe, with the goal of enhancing Ukraine's defense capabilities. (Photo via Reuters)

Germany has unveiled a fresh military aid package worth €576 million to restock Kiev's artillery supplies with 180,000 rounds of shells, in support of a Czech-led initiative to procure ammunition for Ukraine.

Two years into the Ukraine conflict, Kiev is facing a critical shortage of artillery ammunition, namely due to delays in US assistance caused by disputes in Congress, as heavy cannon fire continues to be exchanged along the 1,000-km front line.

Europe intensified its support for Ukraine's military on Tuesday, with Germany and the EU revealing initiatives to expedite supplies to aid resistance against the potential loss of key frontline cities like Avdiivka.

Last month, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius unveiled an aid package totaling 478 million euros, but this did not include funding for the Czech munitions initiative.

"The total value of both support measures is therefore over one billion euros," a spokesperson for the ministry told Reuters.

Christian Freuding, German army General Head of coordinating aid for Ukraine at the German Defense Ministry, said this batch is only the first of three stages of expected deliveries to Kiev.

The general noted that Berlin has agreed to finance the procurement of 180,000 shells through the Czech initiative in the second phase.

More countries have been signing up to the initiative to source hundreds of thousands of rounds from outside Europe for Ukraine.

Germany's share will account for 40% of the initiative, the ministry said.

Berlin also finalized agreements for an extra 100,000 155mm shells to be delivered to Ukraine, with the first supplies scheduled to arrive this year.

In addition, Germany will also send 100 infantry fighting vehicles and 100 high-performance logistics vehicles.

After the US, Germany has emerged as Ukraine's second-largest military contributor, offering 17.7 billion euros (roughly $19 billion) in military aid as of January.

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