The Estonian government on Thursday supported Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur's decision to send essential artillery ammunition to Ukraine, which is part of the European Union agreement initiated by Estonia to send Ukraine one million shells.
Estonia's latest aid package consists of 155-millimeter shells. In addition, Estonia will donate night vision devices and ammunition for small arms to the armed forces of Ukraine, spokespeople for the Ministry of Defense said.
According to Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur, Estonia's initiative to send one million shells to Ukraine was approved in EU institutions with unprecedented speed and now Ukraine needs quick decisions from its European allies so that these projectiles actually reach Ukraine.
«That is, after a major and quick political step, the next step is to pack up the ammunition and send it to Ukraine, which is what we are doing with this package,» Pevkur said.
The shells are Estonia's contribution to the EU agreement initiated by Estonia itself to jointly send one million shells to Ukraine.
«I will also meet Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in Ramstein tomorrow, with whom we will discuss how and what else Estonia can do to help Ukraine,» Pevkur added.
Along with air defense, artillery ammunition is currently Ukraine's most critical military need in the fight against the aggressor. Ukraine goes through about 60,000-210,000 artillery shells every month, while the Russian Federation uses 600,000-1.8 million shells every month to destroy a single country and nation.
In order to alleviate this critical capability deficit in Ukraine, Estonia proposed to EU member states at the European Council held in February to jointly acquire at least one million 155-millimeter caliber projectiles to help Ukraine. On March 20, a joint meeting of EU defense and foreign ministers agreed on the common goal of supplying Ukraine with one million artillery shells, including 155 mm shells, within 12 months, that is by March 20, 2024. This goal was confirmed by the heads of state and government at the European Council on March 24.