Stoltenberg calls on NATO members to continue arming Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that members of the military alliance must ensure that Ukraine continues to have enough weapons to continue its counter-offensive against Russia, with Kiev suffering losses.
Kiev’s Western backers are scheduled to meet Thursday at NATO headquarters in Brussels in order to receive an update on the progress of the offensive from Ukraine’s defense minister.
“The most important thing is to make sure they (the Ukrainians) have the weapons, supplies and maintenance needed to continue the offensive,” Stoltenberg told reporters.
He pointed out that it was known that Ukraine would suffer losses as it sought to penetrate the heavily fortified Russian lines.
“There will also be losses in terms of modern NATO equipment. No one expects that there will be no losses. It is fierce fighting,” he added.
Stoltenberg confirmed that the Ukrainian offensive was making progress, but pointed out that “it is still in its infancy and we do not know whether this (attack) will be a turning point in the war.”
NATO members, led by the United States, have delivered weapons worth tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine to help it fight Russian forces since Moscow launched its war in February 2022.
These supplies drained Western stocks and prompted countries to try to replenish them.
In this context, Stoltenberg indicated that he expects NATO defense ministers to agree at Friday’s meeting to intensify targets for the amount of ammunition each member of the alliance must have.
In addition, NATO expects to approve a “defense production action plan” at a meeting scheduled for next month in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, to try to get Western defense industries to increase their production.