Seventeen European Union countries plus Norway agreed on Monday to jointly procure ammunition to help Ukraine and to replenish their own stockpiles, the EU's European Defence Agency said.
"The project opens the way for EU Member States and Norway to proceed along two paths: a two-year, fast-track procedure for 155mm artillery rounds and a seven-year project to acquire multiple ammunition types," the agency said in a statement.
The countries signed a so-called project arrangement, setting out the terms of reference for their joint procurement effort. The document is a precursor to starting talks with industry with the aim of signing contracts.
"Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and Norway have signed," the agency said.
"More Member States have already expressed their intent to join the initiative soon following national procedures."