NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday said that the military alliance was working closely with the arms industry to get more weapons to Ukraine and said more must be done to support Kyiv for the “long haul.”
“We are providing a lot of support but we need to do even more and be prepared for the long haul,” the NATO chief told Reuters. “Therefore we’re also now in close contact and working closely with the defense industry to produce more and to deliver more of different types of ammunition, weapons, and capabilities.”
The Western response to the war in Ukraine has been a boon for US arms makers, who are cashing in on replacing stockpiles of weapons sent to Ukraine, direct sales to Kyiv, and European NATO allies increasing their military spending.
In July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov made an offer to Western arms makers to use Ukraine as a testing ground for new weapons in a pitch for more arms. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,” he said.
The next big escalation in military aid for Kyiv could be the US or some of its NATO allies sending warplanes to Ukraine. US Air Force officials have said they are in talks on providing Kyiv with aircraft and sound very receptive to Ukraine’s request for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.