BILLIONS MORE FOR ARMS
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries do not all have the same weapons, but their arms are compatible. So ammunition manufactured in one country in the alliance can be used by another.
At the start of the war, Ukraine’s military mostly used weapons and munitions that matched Russian standards. But within a few months, those were exhausted – especially in crucial artillery and missile systems – and it has grown to depend on Western allies with NATO-standard arms.
But that in turn has drawn down large amounts of munitions the allies had kept for their own defence.
Rebuilding those supplies is now crucial.
In July, the European Union announced €500 million (US$504 million) for joint purchases over the next two years to replenish arms provided to Kyiv.
The priority is more anti-armour and anti-aircraft missile systems, and 155mm artillery pieces and ammunition.
EU countries “have drawn on their stocks of ammunition, light and heavy artillery, anti-aircraft and anti-tank defence systems, and even armoured vehicles and tanks”, European Commissioner Thierry Breton said at the time.
“This has created a de facto vulnerability that now needs to be addressed urgently,” he warned.
The United States, the primary defence supplier of Ukraine since the war began, has pledged US$15.2 billion worth of weaponry, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, artillery and ammunition compatible with NATO weaponry.