Canada to give more than C$40 million to help buy artillery shells for Ukraine

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 11:49 AM

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada will give more than C$40 million ($29.40 million) to a Czech-led initiative aimed at buying 800,000 artillery shells from third nations for Ukraine, Defence Minister Bill Blair said on Tuesday.

The Canadian contribution will help deliver several thousands of shells of heavy ammunition, he said in a statement. Canada will also donate C$7.5 million worth of night vision devices to Kyiv.

Ammunition supplies have become a critical issue for Ukraine in its third year of fighting against Russia’s invasion, descending into grinding artillery battles.

The commitment to help buy shells was part of a defense deal that Canada signed last month with the Czech Republic, but at the time Ottawa did not reveal how much it would spend.

The Czech-led initiative to buy 800,000 rounds of ammunition for Ukraine secured enough funding, with contributions from 18 countries, Czech President Petr Pavel said on March 7.

Canada has already donated approximately 40,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition to Ukraine, sourced from both its own stocks and from purchases through the U.S. government.

Since Russia invaded in February 2022, Canada has committed C$4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, including howitzers, main battle tanks and armored combat support vehicles, the statement said.

($1 = 1.3605 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Jonathan Oatis)