Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Monday that NATO countries need to ramp up weapons production, or Kyiv won’t be able to win the war against Russia.
Kuleba said that NATO countries must “begin the production of necessary weapons today.” If that doesn’t happen, he said Ukraine “won’t be able to win — as simple as that.”
Kuleba’s comments come amid reports that the US and other NATO countries are depleting their military stockpiles by sending so many arms to Ukraine. US arms makers are benefiting from the policy as they are essentially in a position where they can sell as many weapons as they can make.
Kuleba made the comments to POLITICO ahead of a NATO ministerial meeting that begins in Bucharest on Tuesday. Kuleba said that at the meeting, he will ask the NATO ministers for “air defenses, tanks, and production lines.”
While being entirely reliant on military aid, the vast majority being provided by the US, Ukrainian officials are not afraid to criticize their backers. Kuleba said there are countries “in the world who have what Ukraine needs but who are not going to sell it in sufficient quantities for political reasons.”
Kuleba denied the idea that Western countries have been pressuring Ukraine to negotiate with Russia. “I have to say that this notion of soft pressure on Ukraine is largely exaggerated,” he said.
Kuleba characterized the talks of negotiations as a “discussion on what’s next, how are we going to handle it together.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, the highest-ranking US military officer, recently came out in favor of peace talks to end the fighting. But his view is not a popular one in the Biden administration, as high-level officials in the State Department and on the National Security Council don’t think it’s time for negotiations.