Western weapon stockpiles have become strained after countless arms transfers to Ukraine, making it increasingly difficult for NATO militaries to keep up with politicians’ pledges to continue supporting Kiev with whatever it needs for as long as it takes, the New York Times reported on Saturday.
“Smaller countries have exhausted their potential,” and according to one NATO official, at least 20 of the alliance’s 30 members are “pretty tapped out,” the newspaper wrote. Only “larger allies,” including France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, have enough stockpiles to continues or potentially increase their weapon shipments to Ukraine.
Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, the US and its Western allies have been providing Kiev with billions of dollars in security assistance, to the tune of nearly $40 billion, now comparable to the entire annual defense budget of France. Moscow has repeatedly warned that the weapon shipments will only prolong the conflict and increase the risk of a direct conflict between Russia and NATO.