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December 6, 2023
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Russia-Ukraine war: foreign ministers to meet on EU-wide ammunition deal after call for urgent action – live

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell will propose deal at Brussels meeting to buy ammunition using similar model to one deployed to secure vaccines during Covid crisis

The war with Ukraine will be over unless the EU finds a way in weeks to speed up the provision of ammunition to Ukraine, the EU foreign affairs chief has warned.

Josep Borrell told ministers at a Munich security conference on Sunday:

Much more has to be done and much quicker.

We have to increase and accelerate our military support to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military is inflicting “extraordinarily significant” losses on Russian forces near the town of Vuhledar in the eastern Donbas region, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday in his nightly video address. Zelenskiy referred to several towns in Donbas, saying “the more losses Russia suffers there … in Bakhmut, Vuhledar, Marinka, Kreminna – the faster we will be able to end this war with Ukraine’s victory”.

Ukrainian troops are preparing to defend one of the possible targets of a new Russian offensive in the eastern Donetsk region as Russia threatens to capture Bakhmut. Ukrainian soldiers near the small town of Siversk described being outgunned. “If they occupied Bakhmut, then we would be semi-encircled, because on the left side we have the Siverskyi Donets river, and the enemy will advance from the right, and it is possible to cut us off if they reach the Bakhmut highway,” said the deputy Siversk battalion commander.

Three people were killed by shelling near the southern Ukrainian city of Berislav on Sunday morning, according to local officials. The regional military administration said Russian forces struck the village of Burgunka with “massive artillery fire” and that one of the shells hit the yard of a family home.

The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said the war could be over if the EU cannot increase its supply of ammunition to Ukraine. “We are in urgent war mode,” he said. “This shortage of ammunition has to be solved quickly.” Borrell backed a call for the bloc’s members to buy arms jointly to help Ukraine but warned it would not solve Kyiv’s urgent need for more ammunition now.

The US and Ukraine are “still having discussions” amid pressure to supply F-16 jets. The US ambassador to the United Nations indicated on Sunday that the White House could reverse its refusal to supply F-16 jets to Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have urged US Congress members to press Biden’s administration to send the jetfighters to Kyiv, saying the aircraft would boost Ukraine’s ability to hit Russian missile units with US-made rockets, lawmakers said.

Zelenskiy and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone on Sunday and discussed strategies, including what the Ukrainian leader described as joint decisions ahead of this week’s anniversary of Russia’s invasion of his country. In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy said he thanked the French president “for understanding our needs and for expressing jointly that we cannot waste any opportunity or a single week in our defence against Russian aggression … We also discussed important decisions that we are planning for this week – for our year of resistance.”

France has said it would deliver the AMX-10 light armoured vehicles it has promised to Ukraine “by the end of next week”. Macron added in an interview that he wants Russia to lose the war but he does not want to see it “crushed”.

China may be on brink of supplying arms to Russia, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has warned. Blinken told US networks that the US had information China was considering whether to give Russia assistance, possibly including guns and weapons, for the Ukraine war..

The Polish prime minister said he and US President Joe Biden will discuss the possibility of increasing US troop presence in Poland and making it more permanent. “We are in the process of discussion with President Biden’s administration about making their (troop) presence more permanent and increasing them,” Mateusz Morawiecki said on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.

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