More than 20 Countries Set Up Artillery Coalition for Ukraine

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Germany, France and other countries intend to increase the ammunition production for Kyiv. France promised Ukraine 12 more Caesar howitzers. Germany, France and more than 20 other countries on Thursday, 18 January, formed an artillery coalition in Paris to help Ukraine repel Russian aggression. “There is no alternative to modern artillery, we must continue our efforts to increase the ammunition production,” Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov said as he joined the conference participants in the French capital via video link. The artillery coalition, led by the US and France, is part of the Ramstein contact group, named after the US air force base in Germany where representatives of 50 nations met in April 2022 to organize help for Ukraine war against Russia. France announced that it was ready to finance 12 more Caesar howitzers for Ukraine. The government in Paris would allocate 50m euros for this purpose, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said. Ukraine currently has 49 of these howitzers in use, with six more ordered. France is able to produce about 60 more howitzers for $250 million, “an amount that is quite compatible with various budgets of the allies,” Lecornu said. Bilateral Agreement between France and Ukraine On 16 January, French President Emmanuel Macron announced his intention to conclude a bilateral agreement with Ukraine on new arms supplies. He is going to present this document to Kyiv in February. Macron also promised Ukraine 40 more SCALP missiles and hundreds of shells. France has recently been under fire of criticism due to a decrease in arms supplies to Kyiv. According to the Institute of World Economy in Kiel, France supplied Ukraine with 1.7bn euros worth of arms and thus ranks 12th among Kyiv’s arms sponsors. Germany delivered almost 21bn euros worth of arms to Ukraine and is in second place after the US.