Ukraine reveals when it will stop asking for Western weapons
Kiev will no longer request weapons deliveries from the West, only after Ukraine prevails over Russia, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba claimed on Monday, adding that the supplies are part of a “recipe to defeat” Moscow's forces.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Kuleba indicated that despite a constant flow of Western armaments into the country, Kiev needs even more of them, given that it is now fighting such an “enemy” as Russia.
“Sometimes I’m being asked when there is enough of weapons that we have received. And I always say… it will be enough only after Ukraine wins. Until then, we will be asking for more,” he stated.
Foreign minister also noted that Kiev’s recent counter-offensive in Kharkov region has shown that the combination of Ukrainian forces’ “stamina” of Kiev’s forces and Western-supplied weapons, most of which come from the US, are “the recipe to defeat Russia on the ground.” Moscow, however, insisted that it pulled its troops back from some areas to “regroup” and to strengthen the Russian forces in the Donetsk region.
At the same time, Kuleba admitted that sustainability of Western weapon deliveries is an issue, which needs to be constantly raised by Kiev authorities as they talk with their Western colleagues.
NATO has been supporting Ukraine since 2014, but has significantly ramped up its military assistance after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring country in late February.
However, the delays in weapons deliveries have been quite frequent. Last week, Die Welt reported that while Germany has agreed to provide Ukraine with 18 self-propelled RCH-155 howitzers in addition to the military hardware already supplied, the guns would not arrive for at least another 30 months.
Earlier this month, Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, claimed that Berlin has handed over “an unbelievable amount” of weaponry from its reserves to Ukraine, adding that the country has “reached the limit” in terms of what it can send to Kiev.
Moreover, earlier this month, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged that the bloc’s members have significantly depleted their weapons stockpiles, urging the Western defense industry to ramp up arms production.