"We need to do more": Stoltenberg urges NATO countries to increase defence spending

Maryna PohorilkoPolitics
Stoltenberg calls on NATO countries to increase defence spending

NATO countries need to sign more contracts with defence companies to increase production as ammunition stocks are running low. Allies need to spend at least 2% of GDP as soon as possible.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made this call to the Allies in Oslo after a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Bloomberg reports. The participants also discussed Ukraine's application to join the bloc and other ways to ensure long-term support for the country in its fight against the Russian aggressor.

"What we really need is the signing of contracts, because then the industry will be ready to invest and increase production," Stoltenberg said.

He expressed hope that the allies would agree on a defence industry action plan when leaders meet in Vilnius in July.

The alliance also agreed new guidelines for ammunition, including 155mm artillery shells, to ensure that nations have ample stockpiles to continue supporting Ukraine and for their own defence needs.

"Allies have already depleted their reserves to be able to support Ukraine - this is not a sustainable way, so we need to increase production to meet these new and more ambitious goals," Stoltenberg said.

For his part, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that at the summit of the North Atlantic Alliance in Vilnius, Lithuania, in the summer of 2023, "we need a clear invitation to Ukraine for membership", as well as security guarantees on the way to joining the military bloc. And this autumn, the guarantor said, "we need a clear positive decision on our accession to the EU."

As reported by OBOZREVATEL:

- Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili justified Russia's war against Ukraine by our country's desire to join NATO. He reiterated the Kremlin's thesis that Russia attacked Ukraine, allegedly to protect its security;

- NATO spoke about cooperation with Ukraine during a full-scale war, noting that both sides benefit from it. The Ukrainian Armed Forces receive the necessary weapons from their partners, and the Alliance can use the experience gained by the Defence Forces to build its own deterrence and defence systems.

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