NATO has warned that Western reserves of munitions destined for Ukraine are rapidly depleting, while the Russian invasion shows no signs of ending.
The warning comes as Ukraine’s allies have urged the embattled country to continue fighting, despite waning support from its main military partners.
NATO’s top military official, Admiral Rob Bauer, told the Warsaw Security Forum on Tuesday: “The bottom of the barrel is now visible.”
“We give Ukraine weapons systems, which is great, as well as ammunition, but not in full warehouses. We started giving away half-full or less warehouses in Europe,” Bauer said, adding that even those stores were starting to become empty.
NATO officials were not the only ones to admit that ammunition stocks were low.
Admiral Rob Bauer, NATO’s top military official (pictured), said: “The bottom of the cannon is now visible.”
British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told the same panel that although stocks were currently low, the West needed to increase its capacity to make more munitions.
“We have to keep Ukraine in the fight tonight, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,” Heappey said.
“(That means) continuing to give, day after day, and replenishing our own stocks.”
The dire warnings come as cracks begin to appear in Western support for Ukraine, 20 months after Russia invaded the country.
Over the weekend, U.S. politicians scrapped a $6 billion aid package for Kiev as Congress passed a short-term funding bill that narrowly avoided a government shutdown.
Cracks begin to appear in Western support for Ukraine
Russia illegally invaded Ukraine 20 months ago
Senior U.S. officials appear to recognize the damage that could be caused by insufficient U.S. aid to Ukraine, as Deputy Defense Secretary Michael McCord wrote in a letter to political leaders on Friday, shortly before Congress removes aid program from spending bill. :
“A failure to secure timely supplies and deliveries could compromise critical Ukrainian operations aimed at retaking additional territory or defending against possible future Russian offensives.”
“Without additional funding now, we would be forced to delay or reduce aid to meet Ukraine’s urgent needs, including air defense and munitions, which are critical and urgent at a time when Russia is preparing to carry out a winter offensive and continues its bombing of Ukrainian cities,” he said. added.
Additionally, Robert Fico, a pro-Moscow populist, won Slovakia’s snap parliamentary elections, potentially putting another Putin ally in charge of an EU country.
Fico, 59, has pledged to withdraw Slovakia’s military support for Ukraine in the war against Russia if his bid to return to power succeeds.
NATO has warned that ammunition reserves are running low, 20 months after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Support for Ukraine from its international partners appears to have diminished over the weekend.
Senior U.S. officials appear to recognize the damage that could be caused by insufficient U.S. aid to Ukraine.
Over the weekend, US politicians scrapped a $6 billion aid package for kyiv
“People in Slovakia have bigger problems than in Ukraine,” he previously said.
Until now, this country of 5.5 million inhabitants, created in 1993 following the breakup of Czechoslovakia, has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine since the Russian invasion last February, donating of weapons and opening its borders to refugees fleeing the war.
Slovakia sent its fleet of Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, the S-300 air defense system, helicopters, armored vehicles and much-needed mine clearance equipment.
In the meantime, it has absorbed 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, more per capita than any other country except Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states.
British supporters of the war effort in Ukraine have been forced to step up their lobbying efforts.
Former Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has claimed he urged Rishi Sunak to increase his military support for Ukraine by more than £2 billion, an increase of 50%.