(Bloomberg) -- A Czech-led initiative to obtain ammunition for Ukraine may deliver a total of 1.5 million artillery shells within a year, which could help Kyiv overcome a worsening shortage of firepower, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said during a visit to the US.

The plan, in which the Czech Republic is acting as a mediator in procuring the shells from outside the European Union, has already secured 500,000 rounds, according to the text of Fiala’s speech posted on the government’s website on Tuesday. About twenty countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, and Poland, have joined the initiative, he said. 

“We believe that more deliveries will follow,” Fiala said at the Hudson Institute in Washington. “There is no reason, why we cannot deliver one million more in the next 12 months.”

Read more: Poland Pledges €100 Million to Czech Ammunition Plan For Ukraine

Ukraine is struggling with dwindling artillery supplies and air defense as Russia has intensified ground operations and airstrikes, including bombardments of its neighbor’s energy infrastructure. 

The acute shortage of ammunition and manpower along the 1,200-kilometer (930 mile) front is stoking fears that Kyiv’s military effort is nearing a breaking point. Ukraine has one for every 10 Russian artillery shells and won’t win the war unless the US Congress approves a $60 billion aid package, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told PBS News Hour.

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