‘Running out’: NATO head urges allies to step up military supplies to Ukraine

NATO member states need to urgently step up the delivery of ammunition and weapons to Ukraine, the US-led alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said on Thursday.

“The Ukrainians are not running out of courage, they are running out of ammunition. Together, we have the capacity to provide Ukraine what it needs, now we need to show the political will to do so,” he said.

Presenting the annual report at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Stoltenberg added that all the alliance’s allies needed “to dig deep and deliver quickly.”

“Every day of delay has real consequences on the battlefield in Ukraine. So this is a critical moment, and it would be a great historic mistake to allow Putin to prevail,” he said.

More than two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine’s military has been grappling recently with significantly reduced weapon supplies from the West.

In February, the Institute for the Study of War said delays in Western assistance were “likely helping” Russia’s offensive, adding that “critical shortages” of ammo and equipment had allowed Moscow to launch offensive operations. 

“We have the capacity, the economies, to be able to provide Ukraine what they need. This is a question of political will. To take the decisions and to prioritise support for Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

The United States earlier this week announced a new €276 million weapons package for Ukraine, but a further €55 billion in funding remains stalled by Republicans in Congress.

On Wednesday, European Union countries agreed to provide €5 billion for military aid to Ukraine as part of a revamp of an EU-run assistance fund.

Reacting to the upcoming elections in Russia, Stoltenberg said the vote would not bring any change in the Kremlin.

“Free and fair elections are core to any democracy, and elections in Russia will not be free and fair. Because we know already that opposition politicians are in jail, some are killed and many are in exile,” he said.

Stoltenberg added that any elections held in occupied regions of Ukraine were “completely illegal, violating international law.”

Russians go to the polls from Friday through to Sunday, but voting has already begun in the occupied Ukrainian regions.

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