At the end of a meeting of the European Union's (EU) foreign and defence ministers in Brussels, Helena Carreiras used the words Josep Borrell had used shortly before and called the agreement to acquire artillery ammunition to increase military support for Ukraine, "a historic decision" at a time when a major offensive by Moscow is underway to try to capture more territory from the invaded country.
According to the minister, Portugal is one of the 18 countries that will be part of the European Defence Agency's project for the joint acquisition of artillery ammunition: one part to continue to assist Ukraine, an effort for which member states will be reimbursed "between 50% and 60%", and another for the recovery of stocks.
There is a "significant financial envelope" of 1,000 million euros to "reimburse the States that participate in this acquisition," Helena Carreiras specified.
At the same time, the European Union wants to "promote the production" of munitions and "recover this deficit of industrial capacity" that is, the minister explained, the result of decades of disinvestment in the Defence of the various countries of the Union, since there was no prospect of a war of this size on the continent.
"There is work that has been done, both of inventory and of what are the availabilities of each State, and of the industry to get a sense of what is possible to do," he said.
This agreement had already had a political endorsement at the informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Stockholm (Sweden) two weeks ago, and now only the final approval in the European Council is missing.
Regarding the shipment of ammunition by Portugal to Ukraine, Helena Carreiras said that the country "has already supplied 2,000 120-millimeter mortar ammunition": "Our 'stocks' are down, like those of other countries, there is no expanded capacity to provide ammunition."