West risks running out of ammunition as Putin prepares for 'more war', warns NATO chief

15 February 2023, 00:36 | Updated: 15 February 2023, 09:39

Ahead of the meeting, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said defence ministers would work to strengthen the alliance's deterrence and defence
Ahead of the meeting, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said defence ministers would work to strengthen the alliance's deterrence and defence. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The West is at risk of running out of ammunition as Putin prepares for "more war" in Ukraine, NATO's secretary-general has warned.

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Both Ukraine and NATO are in danger of running out of ammunition and spare parts for heavy weapons, Jens Stoltenberg said.

He added that Western allies needed to stock up their own armouries while ensuring Kyiv received the weapons it needed “to win this war”.

“We see no signs that President Putin is preparing for peace," Mr Stoltenberg said. "What we see is the opposite, he is preparing for more war, for new offensives and new attacks.

“This has become a grinding war of attrition and therefore it’s also a battle of logistics.

"This is a huge effort by allies to actually be able to get in the ammunition, the fuel, the spare parts, which are needed."

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Stoltenberg: No sign whatsoever that Putin is preparing for peace in Ukraine

NATO defence ministers gathered in Brussels on Tuesday and will continue talks on Wednesday to coordinate weapons supplies for Ukraine and discuss the threat posed by spy balloons.

The meeting at the alliance's headquarters in the Belgian capital comes ahead of the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

It also follows the shooting down of a series of objects in western airspace by the US military, including a suspected Chinese spy balloon.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who is expected to join the Brussels meeting on Wednesday, has announced Britain will conduct a security review into the issue.

This caller says anyone hesitant to send military arms to Ukraine should be 'embarrassed'

Mr Stoltenberg said he expected the possible supply of fighter jets to Kyiv to also be discussed at the two-day gathering.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last week continued his push for combat aircraft and long-range missiles as he toured European capitals.

The UK will be the first nation to start training Ukrainian pilots on NATO-standard aircraft, and Mr Wallace will investigate which planes the UK could potentially give to Ukraine.

Western leaders will also gather for the Munich Security Conference this weekend.

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