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EU explosives shortage threatens Ukraine – FT – RT World News

The bloc is struggling to further support Kyiv with weapons due to a lack of raw materials, sources tell the outlet

The EU’s defense industry’s ability to supply Ukraine with military supplies has been hampered by a shortage of explosives, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing sources.

Several European officials and arms manufacturers told the outlet that the bloc’s military factories were suffering from a limited supply of gunpowder and TNT, which could set back plans to increase shell production by three years. The sources also complained that this meant the defense industry would not be able to meet growing demand. “regardless of the amount of money invested in the problem.”

“The fundamental problem is that the European defense industry is not in good shape for large-scale war production”, a German official told the outlet.

These concerns were echoed by Jiri Hynek, who chairs the Defense and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic. He said, quoted by the FT, that during the construction of a new artillery factory “It’s very easy,” it is impossible to produce shells without raw materials.

The official then pointed out that “it is not possible to increase nitrocellulose in a short time” production, which is the basic ingredient of gunpowder. “If I want to increase the production of gunpowder, it will probably take me three years”, he added.

To remedy the situation, the EU must find new sources of supply, according to Italian defense official Gianclaudio Torlizzi. He told the FT that the continent needed to approach countries it had traditionally stayed away from. “Each European country wants to protect its availability of raw materials”, he explained.

EU officials have repeatedly expressed concern about their dwindling arms stockpiles due to the bloc’s support for Ukraine. Last December, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell lamented that years of underinvestment had led to the rapid depletion of military stocks. In this context, several senior European officials have urged the bloc to move to a “war economy”.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, The New York Times reported that the United States and its allies were running out of ammunition for Ukraine, which is burning thousands of shells every day in the battle for the key Donbass city of Artyomovsk ( called Bakhmut in Ukraine). According to the newspaper, Western officials fear that this process will be ” unsustainable “ and could jeopardize kyiv’s planned spring campaign.

Moscow warned Kiev’s Western donors that their military supplies would only prolong hostilities rather than change the outcome and would make countries providing such aid direct participants in the conflict.

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