Ukraine utilized a large amount of artillery rounds: US SecDef
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin argues that the US believes that Ukraine has the opportunity to create the "right conditions" via a battlefield offensive.
The Ukrainian armed forces have expended a lot of ammunition, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who spoke following the ninth meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at the NATO headquarters.
“They [Ukrainians] have used a lot of artillery ammunition. We're going to do everything we can working with our international partners to ensure that we give them as much ammunition as quickly as possible,” Austin said during a press brief.
According to Austin, the US has allegedly never prevented Poland from supplying Ukraine with any aircraft because it is up to the country's authorities to make this decision.
"With respect to any kind of aircraft being provided by Poland, the United States never stopped Poland from providing anything," Austin said adding "that will be a decision made by the leadership of that country; that's certainly not something that we can or will dictate."
Significantly, Austin highlighted that the US, allies, and partners, expect Ukraine to conduct an offensive come this spring.
“We expect to see them [Ukraine] conduct an offensive sometime in the spring and because of that all the partners in the Ukraine defense contact group have been working hard to ensure that they have the armored capability, the fires, the sustainment to be able to be effective in creating the effects on the battlefield that they want to create,” the US Defense Secretary said.
Austin further explained that the US and its allies hold that there is a window of opportunity for Ukraine to create the "right conditions" by starting battlefield initiatives that they can manipulate
Ukraine's demands for shells surpasses NATO production capacity
According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Ukraine's ammunition consumption rate now surpasses NATO nations' capabilities to provide it, and the waiting period for large-caliber ammunition has more than quadrupled increasing from 12 to 28 months.
"The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production," Stoltenberg said at a conference prior to the NATO summit.
"Orders placed today would only be delivered two-and-a-half years later," Stoltenberg added.
The NATO summit is expected to address the bloc's defense and the bolstering of undersea infrastructure security, as well as additional and expanded support for Ukraine.
After the war in Ukraine began in February 2022, Moscow addressed a message to NATO member states denouncing their military aid to Kiev, stating that arming Ukraine was not helpful to peace negotiations and would exacerbate the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended an EU parliament meeting and a regular EU summit of the heads of state as a last-minute guest on Thursday.
Read more: Leopard tanks to be sent to Kiev in March: Polish Defense Minister