Stoltenberg: NATO must supply the army of Ukraine more quickly and increase the production of ammunition

Stoltenberg: NATO must supply the army of Ukraine more quickly and increase the production of ammunition

Stoltenberg: NATO must supply the army of Ukraine faster and free munitions production

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, February 13, 2023.

Brussels – The states of the North Atlantic Alliance must speed up the supply of arms and ammunition to Ukraine, which is urgently needed due to the expected Russian offensive. This was said today by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who wants to discuss this issue with the alliance's defense ministers on Tuesday. According to him, arms factories in the member countries should, due to the urgent Ukrainian need, increase the production of ammunition in particular, so that the armies can replenish their supplies and send enough to Kiev.

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Alliance countries, led by the United States, have been providing Ukraine with weapons, including heavy equipment, for a long time. In recent days, for example, Kiev received a promise to deliver German Leopard 2 tanks. The Ukrainian army is currently defending against Russian attacks in the east, and the country's leadership is calling for faster delivery of defense equipment and ammunition.

“Key equipment such as ammunition, fuel and spare parts must be delivered to Ukraine before Russia can take the initiative on the battlefield. Speed ​​will save lives,” Stoltenberg said today.

He said Tuesday's discussion will also include the possibility , that one of the alliance countries would provide Kiev with fighter jets, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy requested last week during his first visit to Brussels since the beginning of the war. Some politicians do not rule out that they will supply the required machines to Ukraine, however, according to them, it will not happen in the near future. If a state really decided to do so, it would not mean a direct involvement of NATO in the war, Stoltenberg pointed out.

According to him, due to the ongoing fighting, the military reserves of the allied countries are under pressure, which must remain sufficient for their own defense. Therefore, according to Stoltenberg, NATO will have to invest in production capacities and increase the production of ammunition in particular.

The head of the alliance emphasized that the allies will support Ukraine as long as necessary. When asked if he thought Russia was preparing to start a major offensive on the first anniversary of the invasion on February 24, he said it had already begun.

“We see that they are sending more soldiers, more weapons, more equipment,” Stoltenberg stated. Russian leader Vladimir Putin still strives to control Ukraine and does not want peace, he added.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov will discuss the specific needs of the Ukrainian army with his alliance colleagues. Even before the NATO meeting, the contact group for Ukraine, led by the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, will meet. According to Stoltenberg, the ministers will also discuss increasing spending on defense or the security of the Balkan region at the two-day meeting.