Stoltenberg: Delays in arms supplies to Ukraine has had serious consequences on battlefield

Stoltenberg: Delays in arms supplies to Ukraine has had serious consequences on battlefield

NATO countries need to be aware that any delays in the supplies of weapons to Ukraine, or insufficient supplies, turn into a matter of life and death for Ukraine and pose huge risks to member states.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a joint press conference with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“We need to be aware that we have to be honest, and we have to realise that when we don't deliver, when we delay supplies, it's about life and death. It has real consequences. This war is not a kind of theoretical thing. If something's going on 24/7, and when we are not delivering as we should, then Ukrainians are paying the price. But it's also us, also all NATO Allies,” said Stoltenberg.

He noted that the supplies of military equipment to Ukraine for its victory is certainly expensive and comes with the risks inherent in such a large-scale conflict.

Read also: NATO is focusing on Patriot systems for Ukraine – Stoltenberg

“But the biggest risk is if President Putin prevails, and if President Putin wins. And the biggest cost is if Russia wins in Ukraine, because then we speak about enormously much bigger amounts of money, a much bigger amount of money that NATO Allies have to invest in our security,” he said.

Stoltenberg underscored that supporting Ukraine is the best way to ensure security and that is the message to NATO Allies.

“NATO Allies have not delivered what they promised [to Ukraine]. The United States spent months not agreeing a package for Ukraine, and European Allies have not delivered the amount of ammunition they promised. And this has had serious consequences on the battlefield. The lack of ammunition has enabled the Russians to push forward along the frontline. Lack of air defence has made it possible for more Russian missiles to hit their targets, and then lack of deep-strike capabilities has made it possible for the Russians to concentrate more forces. And we see the consequences of that now,” said the Secretary General.

He reminded that in recent weeks, there have been significant changes in the supply of weapons to Ukraine. The United States has approved an aid package exceeding $60 billion, the United Kingdom has announced its biggest-ever package, and other member states have made new and significant commitments. According to Stoltenberg, General Cavoli, the US top commander in Europe, is responsible for that effort.

"They do whatever they can to make sure that announcements are turned into deliveries as quickly as possible, because time matters,” he said.

As reported, on April 29, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Ukraine on an unannounced visit.

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