The total amount of deliveries since the end of February has reached 34 million euros, but only four million over the last two months.
Defense initially drew on its stocks, in particular by delivering 5,000 FNC automatic rifles which were to be withdrawn from service and ammunition as well as non-lethal equipment (generators, tents, medical equipment, etc.) but it must keep a strategic stock. It also purchased equipment in stock from Belgian defense companies for 12 million euros, in particular light weapons from the FN – in particular FN Scar – and vision equipment from the company OIP. On May 23, we note the only delivery of heavy equipment, namely guided anti-tank missiles. On June 15, it is again about anti-tank ammunition.
Concern at Les Engagés
The situation worried the deputy Georges Dallemand (Les Engagés). “At a time when the Ukrainians are in an extremely difficult situation in the Donbass, where they are registering a frightening mortality, and calling for help, we must move from words to deeds. What Ukraine needs are modern, heavy and precise weapons to neutralize the centers that bombard its population and its defense lines,” he explained on Wednesday.
Same story at the N-VA
The issue also challenged MP Theo Francken (N-VA). “I understood that, for the moment, there is no delivery of weapons. Are there still things planned? The Ukrainian people and the army of (Ukrainian President, Volodymyr) Zelensky absolutely need additional urgent support,” he asked the House committee on Wednesday.
A similar situation elsewhere
Like other countries, Belgium now seems to lack equipment to export. “We want to continue to support Ukraine. It is necessary, through arms deliveries but not only. We had a second contact group meeting with other countries. We have received news of new requests from Ukraine that are not only for lethal material. We see with our companies how to respond while knowing that for Belgium as for other countries, there is more demand than supply. Supply chains are starting to heat up, it takes longer to have inventory. Last week, we sent equipment and we continue to look at what is possible elsewhere, ”replied the Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder (PS).
Howitzers also left from Belgium. Defense had withdrawn them from service in 2008, when they had just been upgraded, and they were sold in 2015 to a Flemish company specializing in military surplus. The Defense was unable to recover them since they no longer belonged to it and no contractual clause allowed it, but they finally took their way to Ukraine.
According to Mr. Francken, it would be a British purchase. From a good source, it was indicated at the beginning of June that, by doing so, the government had avoided a political difficulty, all the partners of the Vivaldi government coalition not supporting the shipment of heavy equipment.