Poland to give logistical support to Czech ammunition plan for Ukraine

By Thomson Reuters Mar 21, 2024 | 7:27 AM

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland will contribute logistically as well as financially to a Czech-led plan to boost ammunition supplies to Ukraine via purchases outside Europe, the Polish foreign minister said on Thursday.

After more than two years of war with Russia, the most pressing need for Ukraine has become artillery ammunition, which is running low as both sides use heavy cannon fire to hold largely static, entrenched positions along the 1,000-km (620-mile) front line.

“We are very happy to contribute, not only financially but to a very efficient logistical operation so that the ammunition can get to where it’s needed on the front,” Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told a press conference in Prague.

Poland has become a key distribution hub for supplies to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

The Visegrad Group (V4) of central and eastern European countries is divided on the issue of military aid for Ukraine, with Slovakia’s new government joining Hungary in declining to take part in such initiatives.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on March 8 that the ammunition initiative had raised enough so far to purchase a first batch of 300,000 artillery shells.

A Czech official said last week the first deliveries should reach Ukraine by June at the latest.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Jason Hovet; Editing by Alex Richardson)