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24 Oct, 2023 13:31

Entire global arms production ‘not enough’ for Ukraine – minister

The West needs to militarize to keep up with demand, Kiev’s weapons procurement chief has told Politico
Entire global arms production ‘not enough’ for Ukraine – minister

Western nations must be prepared to support Kiev against Moscow “for decades” and should build up their arms production accordingly, a Ukrainian minister has said, claiming that worldwide industrial capacity at its current levels was not sufficient.

“The free world should be producing enough to protect itself,” Strategic Industries Minister Aleksandr Kamyshin told Politico on Monday, ahead of a planned announcement this week of a German-Ukrainian joint arms production deal.

“If you get together all the worldwide capacities for weapons production, for ammunition production, that will be not enough for this war,” he added.

Kamyshin was appointed to his job in March, as Kiev sought to secure the continued supply of arms and munitions to sustain its war effort. At the time it was gearing up for a summer counteroffensive, for which the US and its allies provided tanks, armored vehicles and other military hardware.

The push against Russian defensive lines has failed to produce any significant territorial gains, an outcome that some media have warned could undermine Kiev’s chances of receiving future assistance.

With Israel now embroiled in a war with the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, competition for the dwindling reserves of Western arms has intensified. According to German media, Berlin intends to prioritize supplies to Israel over those meant for Ukraine.

“What happens in Israel now shows and proves that the defense industry globally is a destination for investments for decades,” the Ukrainian minister argued.

Kiev wants Western defense firms to open production lines on Ukrainian soil to ensure Ukrainian “self-sufficiency,” and has secured pledges from Germany and the UK to do so. Moscow has warned that foreign-funded weapons factories in Ukraine would be considered legitimate targets for Russian missile strikes.

Speaking in an interview in July, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that no amount of aid would be “enough” for his nation, “as long as the war continues.”

Moscow has described the conflict as a US-led proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainians are used as “cannon fodder”. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated Ukrainian materiel losses since early June as standing at “hundreds of tanks” and “almost 1,500 armored vehicles”.

While the US government has pledged to keep arming Kiev, there is growing resistance against the policy in the opposition Republican party. Skeptics have cited the cost of the aid, as well as the lack of proper oversight, despite endemic corruption in Ukraine.

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