Fuelling the Fire? Stoltenberg Calls for More Arms to Ukraine Amid ‘Crucial Phase’ of Conflict
04:26 GMT 16.01.2023 (Updated: 10:54 GMT 16.01.2023)
© Flickr / Metziker Norwegian Leopard 2 A4 NO Tank
© Flickr / Metziker
BERLIN (Sputnik) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg believes that the West will boost its heavy hardware supplies to Ukraine in the near future.
"We are in a crucial phase of the war," Stoltenberg said in a Sunday interview with a German newspaper. "It is therefore important that we provide Ukraine with the weapons it needs to win," he added.
Stoltenberg argued that military support for Ukraine is the fastest way to peace and praised the decisions of the US and Germany to equip Ukrainian troops with armored personnel carriers, as well as the readiness of France to supply light battle tanks to Ukraine.
The NATO Secretary General said that, at the upcoming meeting of allies at the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany on January 20, further decisions would have to be made regarding Western arms supplies to Kiev.
"The recent commitments for heavy hardware are important - and I expect more in the near future," Stoltenberg told Handelsblatt.
Earlier on Sunday, Armin Papperger, the CEO of German defense company Rheinmetall, said that his company has 22 Leopard 2 tanks and 88 Leopard 1 tanks, but it would take about a year to prepare them for shipment to Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Stoltenberg said that NATO member countries and their allies should provide more advanced military equipment to Ukraine faster, following reports of Russia gaining control over the city of Soledar in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).
In April 2022, Moscow sent a note to NATO member states condemning their military assistance to Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be "legitimate targets" for Russian forces.