In light of Kyiv suffering setbacks in its much anticipated attack, NATO Security Chief Jens Stoltenberg said alliance countries must make sure Ukraine continues to get sufficient armaments to pursue its counteroffensive against Russia.
The Western allies of Kiev will gather on Thursday at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels to hear the most recent report on the assaults from Ukraine’s defense minister.
“The most obvious thing is to ensure they have the weapons, the supplies, the maintenance to continue to conduct the offensive,” Stoltenberg told journalists.
According to Stoltenberg, it has long been understood that Ukraine will lose when it attempts to cross well reinforced Russian lines.
“There will be casualties, also, when it comes to modern NATO equipment,” he said.
“No one expected there to be zero casualties. The realities of this is fierce, fierce fighting.”
But, he said that “it is still early days and we do not know if this will be a turning point of the war.” Stoltenberg reaffirmed that Ukraine’s attack was making progress.
Since Moscow began its assault in February 2022, NATO allies, led by the United States, have already sent Ukraine with armaments worth tens of billions of dollars to aid it in repelling Russian forces.
Because Ukraine has been launching hundreds of shells each day, those supplies have depleted western stockpiles and forced nations to scramble to try to restock their stores.
Stoltenberg said he expected NATO defence ministers at a subsequent meeting on Friday to agree to “substantially” ramp up the targets for the amount of ammunition each NATO member must have in stock.
In addition, NATO is also looking to approve a “defence production action plan” at a summit next month in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius to try to get Western defence industries to ratchet up output.
According to Stoltenberg, the NATO nations have collectively ordered 155-millimeter shells worth $1 billion so far this year.