Poland to ramp up production of ammunition for Ukraine: PM
The Polish prime minister has said that his government will soon launch a new programme to step up the production of ammunition to support Ukraine’s war effort against the Russian invasion and strengthen Poland’s defences amid the threat from the Kremlin.
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (centre), Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak (left) and the European Union’s Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton (right), brief reporters at the state-run Dezamet Metal Works in the town of Nowa Dęba, southeastern Poland, on Monday, March 27, 2023.PAP/Darek Delmanowicz
Mateusz Morawiecki made the announcement at a news conference in southeastern Poland on Monday, state news agency PAP reported.
He was speaking during a visit to the state-run Dezamet Metal Works, a factory that produces the 155mm ammunition for Poland’s Krab self-propelled gun howitzers used by Ukraine, among other types of ammunition.
Morawiecki was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and the European Union’s Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, according to news outlets.
The Polish prime minister told reporters in the town of Nowa Dęba: “Poland has joined an EU agreement on the joint procurement of ammunition for Ukraine. Together with other countries, we’ll be buying ammunition mainly using EU funds.”
He said: „Ukraine is fighting for the security of the whole of Europe. This is a programme for which Poland has been striving for many months.”
EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday endorsed a plan to send 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine over the next year, news agencies have reported.
Morawiecki told the media that „Poland’s efforts in terms of weaponry and Polish transfers of weapons to Ukraine have been greatly appreciated in Brussels.”
He thanked the EU’s Breton for the new ammunition-purchase programme, calling him “a friend of Poland and Ukraine.”
Morawiecki told reporters: “As we have agreed at the latest European Council meeting, we’ll be supplying this ammunition, but the funding will come from the EU budget.”
On Friday, the Polish prime minister announced that his country would receive up to EUR 300 million from the European Union for weapons purchases by Easter, followed by a further EUR 500-600 million in the next few months, as compensation for arms sent to war-torn Ukraine.
Poland to step up ammunition production
Morawiecki said on Monday that his government would in the coming days adopt a special programme „to support the production of ammunition in various parts of the country.”
He added: “We would like both private and state companies to make ammunition. We are aware that today there is too little ammunition in Europe, arguably in the whole of NATO as well. It’s no secret.”
The prime minister stated: “The programme of transferring ammunition to Ukraine – 1 million pieces by the end of this year – is very ambitious. But I am convinced that after the rapid increase in the production capacity of our industry, such quantities will not be overly ambitious.”
Morawiecki declared that “the Polish defence industry is becoming an increasingly important element of the entire state defence architecture and a supplier of security for others.”
’Our support for Ukraine … will be even more efficient’: Polish defence minister
Meanwhile, Poland’s defence minister stated: “Our support for Ukraine’s defence against the Russian invasion will be even more efficient. The visit of Commissioner Thierry Breton is an expression of appreciation for the strengthening of Poland’s defence capabilities.”
The EU’s Breton came to Poland as part of a tour of member states, designed to assess the potential to ramp up arms production, the PAP news agency reported.
He is due to visit 11 countries and has already made trips to the Czech Republic, France and Bulgaria, among other EU states, according to officials.
On Monday, Breton held talks with Poland’s Morawiecki at the Dezamet factory, and later also met with Dezamet’s managers alongside Poland’s prime minister and defence minister, officials told reporters.