War in Ukraine is depleting ammunition stockpiles in NATO countries, secretary general says

Zahid Mahmood and Chris Liakos in London

The war in Ukraine is depleting allies’ ammunition stockpiles and the meeting of defense ministers on Tuesday will focus on ways to increase stockpiles and defense industrial capacities, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

“The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production,” Stoltenberg said

“For example, the wait for large caliber ammunition has increased from 12 to 28 months. Orders placed today will only be delivered two and half years later,” he said during a press conference in Brussels, adding that the depleted stockpile puts defense ministries under strain. “We need to ramp up our production and production capacity.”

Concerns around depleting stockpiles did not appear to sideline NATO’s commitment to support Ukraine as Stoltenberg highlighted the need to send Kyiv more weapons.

“The reality is we are seeing the start” of new Russian offensive already, Stoltenberg told journalists. “It’s urgent to provide Ukraine with more weapons.”

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