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Washington turns to Ankara to ramp up shell production – Bloomberg

Unlike the EU, the US is willing to buy Turkish explosives to arm Ukraine, the outlet has reported

The US is planning to increase purchases of military-grade explosives from Türkiye to ramp up production of artillery shells, after its stockpiles were drained by the Ukraine conflict, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Western nations are struggling to supply enough munitions to Kiev to sustain its fight against Russia. A global surge in demand for weapons components has undermined efforts by the US and its allies to produce more artillery shells for Ukraine.

The US is already relying on Türkiye to replenish munitions stockpiles and intends to purchase Turkish-made propellants trinitrotoluene and nitroguanidine to deliver on its plans for domestic defense manufacturing, Bloomberg said citing anonymous officials.

The outlet contrasted the US approach to that of the EU. Members of the European bloc have “held back from using funds for purchases from Türkiye because of resistance from France, Greece and Cyprus,” the report noted. The policy did not change even as member states were lagging behind on their promise to deliver one million 155mm shells to Ukraine by March.

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The US has had its own points of contention with Ankara, including over its purchase of Russian long-range air defense systems, which prompted then US President Donald Trump to kick the country out of the F-35 fighter jet program.

The partnership over artillery shells “would build” on a recent thaw in the relationship, according to Bloomberg. After Ankara cleared Sweden to join NATO, Washington in January authorized the long-awaited purchase of F-16 fighter jets and upgrade kits by Türkiye. A last-ditch bid to stop the $23 billion deal in the US Congress, where Senator Rand Paul argued that it would embolden Turkish “misbehavior,” was defeated in late February.

Victoria Nuland, the outgoing senior US diplomat who has held the Ukraine portfolio at the State Department for years, told CNN Türk in January that Washington would be “delighted to welcome Türkiye back into the F-35 family,” provided that the issue of Russian weapon systems is “resolved.”


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Moscow considers the Ukraine conflict to be a US-led proxy war against Russia. It has also said that donations of Western weapons will only prolong hostilities without changing the outcome. In contrast to EU states, Türkiye has refused to cut economic ties with Russia.

March 28, 2024 at 04:51PM
RT

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