EU May Halve $550m Ukrainian Gun Fund to Build Up Own Defence Industry – Report

AVDIIVKA, UKRAINE - APRIL 17: A Ukrainian tank opens fire on targets to support infantry u
Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

EU bigwigs are considering halving a $550m munitions fund for Ukraine in the hopes of using the freed cash to bolster the bloc’s own defence industry, a report on Wednesday has claimed.

Insiders within the European Commission have claimed that a €500m procurement fund to supply the Ukraine government with munitions could be cut in half in order to protect the EU’s own defence industry.

If true, it indicates that the transnational bloc is taking what appears to be the opposite approach to the U.S. when it comes to the Ukraine war, with the Biden administration massively expanding the amount of military “aid” it is sending east.

While individual EU nations are still committed to delivering billions of dollars worth of weapons and ammunition to the country, Euractiv reports that Brussels’ own European defence industry reinforcement through the common procurement act (EDIRPA) may be cut down to serve domestic interests.

Under plans initially put forward last year, the European Commission announced that it wanted to pump €500 million (~$549 million) into short-term munitions procurement, with the aim of helping EU nations send even more weapons, equipment and ammunition to Ukraine.

However, three separate sources close to the programme now suggest that this figure could be halved to €250 million and the timeframe limited to one year.

The saved taxpayer money would then likely be funnelled into the European Defence Investment Programme, which is aimed at bolstering the EU’s own defensive capabilities and further centralising power in the hands of Brussels.

Speaking to the publication in relation to the rumoured halving of EDIRPA, an official within the European Commission emphasised that EU authorities are “investigating the full spectrum of the possible measures” in relation to the defence funds.

Although the saved €250m ultimately represents a drop in the ocean compared to the billions in munitions being pumped into Ukraine from Europe, the suggestion that projects aimed at bolstering the war effort against Russia could represent a shift in thinking on the continent.

No such shift appears to have occurred in America however, with the Biden administration seemingly only increasing the value of the various tools of war the U.S. is sending east.

Having already committed well over $30 billion dollars in so-called military “aid” to Ukraine, the U.S. government announced earlier this month that it was committing to giving a further $2.6 billion in arms, ammo and equipment to the Zelensky administration.

Most of the “aid” would take the form of ammunition for the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System in Ukraine, as well as supplying the country with radar systems.

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