US DoD tells NATO allies to increase defense budgets to refill stocks
When asked about how NATO would respond should Moscow use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, US Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd declined to speculate because the question posed was hypothetical in nature.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday called on NATO member states to spend more than 2% of their GDP on defense budgets.
The reason for this is that Austin believes countries will be better prepared to replenish stockpiles in light of the alliance members' support to Ukraine through the delivery of arms and weapons.
The remarks were delivered earlier today after the NATO defense ministerial meeting in Brussels.
"As we see things develop, we would encourage countries to go above that 2% because we're going to have to invest more in expanding industrial bases and making sure that we're doing the right thing to replace those things some of those things that we provided to Ukraine," Austin said.
When asked about how NATO would respond should Moscow use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, Austin declined to speculate because the question posed was hypothetical in nature.
"I won't bother to walk down the road of trying to answer a hypothetical question," Austin said.
He added that NATO does not pose any threat to Russia, but will defend every inch of the territory belonging to the countries that make up the alliance.
He further added that "NATO continues to make clear that we will not be dragged into Russia's war of choice but we will stand by Ukraine as it fights to defend itself."
.@SecDef: Let me say again: @NATO poses no threat to Russia and seeks no confrontation with Russia. #WeAreNATO pic.twitter.com/crynrz9qhO— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) October 13, 2022
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During the meeting today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that member states all agree to continue to support Ukraine and supply Kiev with more air defense systems.
Earlier today, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov signed an agreement over security and defense grants with the French minister of the armies, Sebastien Lecornu. Ukraine was granted a fund of €100 million and was informed that discussions were being held with Denmark to deliver more CAESAR truck-mounted cannons to Ukraine.
The UK also announced today it would supply Ukraine with air defense missiles to confront Russia and will for the first time provide rockets with the capabilities to shoot down cruise missiles.
On October 11, Berlin transferred a single IRIS-T air defense system to Ukraine and announced it plans to deliver four such systems to Kiev.
Likewise, on October 11, US President Joe Biden promised Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski that the US still intends to ship air defense systems to Ukraine alongside security assistance.
The latest security package issued by Biden for the war in Ukraine entails $625 million worth of HIMARS missiles, ammunition, and vehicles.
On Wednesday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the risk of NATO being dragged into the Ukraine conflict is high.
On September 30, NATO rebuffed Ukraine's request for ascension into the alliance as Stoltenberg expressed a non-committal stance on the bid, saying, "Our focus now is on providing immediate support to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian brutal invasion."
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