Ukraine war forces NATO into severe arms shortages, filling gaps vital
According to US envoy Julianne Smith, NATO member states are discussing the matter among themselves and with representatives of the US defense industry to counter shortages.
US Permanent Representative to NATO Julianne Smith said on Tuesday that NATO members were facing the "very real" risk of arms shortages due to the Ukraine conflict, adding that the alliance is collaborating with the military-industrial complex on filling shortages.
“That effort is focused on declining stockpiles across the NATO alliance for a country like Estonia that has given an enormous amount of security assistance to Ukraine. They're facing some very real shortfalls, and they're not alone. We see that across the Alliance,” Smith said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The envoy added that member states are discussing the matter among themselves and with representatives of the US defense industry to counter shortages.
“They meet with industry. They're also trying to look at things like multinational buys, pool purchases,” she said.
On December 8, reports were issued that the EU is planning to increase the size of its fund to finance weapons deliveries by at least €2 billion ($2.1 billion) as early as next week, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, said Kiev is requesting to purchase tanks that meet NATO standards, with specific emphasis on the French Leclerc tanks.
"We are asking for tanks ... according to NATO standards," he said in an interview with the French television channel LCI.
Florian Philippot, the leader of the french far-right movement The Patriots, described on Saturday France's continuation in supplying weapons to Ukraine at a time when the French army lacks weapons as "total madness".
"Military stocks have generally disappeared...!" But we continue to send weapons and ammunition to Zelensky! Let's stop this total madness!" Philippot wrote on Twitter.
On Sunday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that the bloc had run out of military stockpiles as it provided Ukraine with an overwhelming amount of military support.
"This war has [...] been a wake-up call for all of us about our military capabilities. We have given weapons to Ukraine, but in so doing, we realized that our military stockpiles have been depleted. With conventional war returning to the heart of Europe, we also realized that we are lacking critical defense capabilities, to be able to protect ourselves from a higher level of threats on the European continent itself," he said in a statement.