West will have to buy weapons for Kiev rather than donate from stockpiles, UK defense minister says
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has warned that Western countries are depleting their military stockpiles, forcing them to look elsewhere to bolster Ukraine. He also downplayed Kiev’s hopes of joining NATO for the foreseeable future.
In an interview with The Washington Post published Friday, Wallace praised the West for continuing defense assistance to Ukraine amid its military standoff with Russia. However, the Minister admitted that “We’ve seen the reality that we’re all running out“Weapons and equipment that can be donated.
The official explained that Britain and other countries were increasingly forced to buy weapons for Ukraine on the international market rather than drawing on existing stocks.
Asked about the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO, Wallace warned against over-promising an aspirant like Kiev.
“We have to be realistic and say, ‘It’s not going to happen in Vilnius; it’s not going to happen anytime soon,’’ the secretary of state insisted, referring to the NATO summit scheduled for this July in the Lithuanian capital.
Wallace revealed that several countries are prepared to sign bilateral or multilateral “Mutual Defense Treaty” Ukraine as an alternative to members of the US-led military bloc.
However, British cabinet ministers expressed optimism about the much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive, predicting that Kiev would retake Crimea by the end of the year.
Media reports in late January said a senior US general had privately told Defense Secretary Wallace that the UK Armed Forces were no longer considered top-tier.
Anonymous sources cited in the article warned that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was at risk of failing to deliver on his actions “wartime prime minister“Unless he increases London’s defense budget and does several other things.
In early April, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius acknowledged that his own country’s military faces similar problems and won’t be able to bridge funding and supply shortfalls by 2030. He also rejected the idea of sending more weapons to Ukraine from the Berlin stockpile.
In March, Eva Hoegl, the German Parliament’s commissioner for the armed forces, concluded, “The Bundeswehr has too little of everything, and even less since February 24, 2022.“
She noted that donations of howitzers, multiple rocket launchers and Panther tanks to Ukraine had left “big hole“In Germany’s own military reserves.