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EU must speed up supply of ammunition to Ukraine - Borrell

Zelenskiy addresses European Parliament in Brussels

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The European Union must speed up the supply of ammunition to Ukraine as the country's forces need 1,000 artillery shells every day in the Bakhmut area alone, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Saturday.

Borrell said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had told his EU counterparts at a meeting in Stockholm that Kyiv needed more support to defend itself against Russia's invasion.

Around the eastern battlefield city of Bakhmut, "Ukraine needs about 1,000 shells of artillery per day," Borrell told reporters after the meeting.

Asked how the EU could speed up supply, Borrell said member countries had to dig into their own stockpiles and overcome logistical challenges.

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In March, EU ministers approved a plan worth at least 2 billion euros ($2.20 billion) to supply Ukraine with 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition and missiles over 12 months.

The plan relies on EU countries supplying shells from their own stocks and jointly placing new orders.

Borrell said Ukraine had a particular need for long-range ammunition "because the Russians are bombing from far away.

"The Ukrainians have to have the capacity to reach ... the same range."

Speaking before the meeting, Kuleba also said long-range artillery ammunition would be a focus of the discussions.

Germany on Saturday announced 2.7 billion euros of military aid, its biggest package to Ukraine since Russia's invasion, and pledged further support.

($1 = 0.9084 euros)

(Reporting by Andrew Gray; editing by John Stonestreet)