Ukraine Latest: EU Seeking Agreement on ‘Urgent’ Ammunition Plan

The European Union remains divided on plans to jointly spend €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to buy ammunition for Ukraine, according to Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief.

(Bloomberg) — The European Union remains divided on plans to jointly spend €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to buy ammunition for Ukraine, according to Josep Borrell, the bloc’s foreign policy chief.

“There is still some disagreement but I am sure everybody will understand that we are in a situation of extreme urgency,” Borrell told reporters before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is due to address the gathering via video conference.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meanwhile arrived in New York to chair meetings of the United Nations Security Council on Monday and Tuesday as part of his country’s presidency of the body this month.

Key Developments

  • China Says It ‘Respects’ Sovereign Ex-Soviet States After Furor
  • Global Military Spending Rises to Record as Insecurity Swells
  • Russia Says G-7 Export Ban Would Trigger Grain Deal Exit
  • Russia’s War Puts Focus on Huge Korean Artillery Stockpiles

(All times CET)

Military Spending Rises to Record (10 a.m.)

Global military spending rose to a record last year, spurred by a policy U-turn in Europe where governments boosted capabilities by the most since the end of the Cold War.

Defense expenditure increased by 3.7% in real terms to reach a record high of $2.24 trillion in 2022, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. About half the annual increase was due to Ukraine’s ballooning military budget, data for the eastern European country that excludes foreign aid showed.

Italy’s Tajani Touts Reconstruction Conference (9:30 a.m.)

More than 1,000 companies are expected to take part in a conference on Ukraine reconstruction in Rome on Wednesday, according to Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani.

The conference is a chance for Italy to demonstrate solidarity beyond the military sphere and also signal support for “a people who are defending their own freedom,” Tajani told reporters in Luxembourg. Italy intends to play a leading role in rebuilding Ukraine, particularly in sectors such as infrastructure, transport, agribusiness, energy and digital technology, according to Tajani’s ministry.

Swift Ammunition Deliveries Key: Lithuania (9:15 a.m.)

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said the speed of deliveries of ammunition is the key factor now for Ukraine amid expectations fighting is poised to intensify.

If there are delays in ammunition supplies, Ukrainian forces “might not push as far as and as successfully as they could with our assistance,” Landsbergis told reporters in Luxembourg.

China Comments Show Beijing ‘Can’t be Trusted’ (9:15 a.m.)

Landsbergis also said that comments from a Chinese envoy questioning the independence of ex-Soviet states echo the Kremlin’s own narrative and show that the government in Beijing cannot be trusted as an independent mediator in efforts to end the war.

“We’ve been always saying that we do not trust China as a mediator, as a possible mediator, it has chosen a side, it has sided with Russia,” Landsbergis said.

Kherson Hit by Artillery, Air Attacks (9 a.m.)

Ukraine’s southern Kherson region sustained 83 separate attacks in the past 24 hours according to regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin.

Over 400 rounds of ammunition were fired from artillery, drones and aircraft and targeted residential areas and a school, Prokudin said on Telegram. Two civilians were killed and six injured, he added.

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