NATO chief says Ukraine war has become ‘battle of ammunition’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Tuesday that the war in Ukraine has turned into a “battle of ammunition,” again calling on Western allies to provide additional military aid for the country as it fights Russia.

“The war in Ukraine has become a battle of ammunition,” he told reporters. “We cannot allow President [Vladimir] Putin to win in Ukraine. … That would be a tragedy for the Ukrainians and dangerous for all of us.”

NATO announced an ammunition deal with Ukraine on Tuesday, pledging to purchase 220,000 155 mm artillery shells for the country, worth about $1.2 billion.

“This is important to defend our own territory, to build up our own stocks, but also to continue to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.

The nearly two-year war has drained Ukrainian ammunition reserves, with the country relying on Western allies for military supplies as a stalemate settles in on the front line.

Congress is also at a standstill over whether to send additional aid to Ukraine, as some Republicans push for cutting off support entirely, citing budgetary concerns.

The Biden administration and Senate leaders have jockeyed for weeks with House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) over border security funding, which the Speaker said is a prerequisite for Ukraine aid.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last week that he expects the upper chamber to vote on a border and foreign aid package, including Ukraine funding, by the end of this week.

Ukraine’s European allies have made dire pleas to the U.S. to continue support for the country, signaling that by cutting it off the U.S. could risk losing European assistance in a potential conflict with China over Taiwan.

“The reality is the U.S. also needs a wake-up call,” British lawmaker Alicia Kearns said last week.

“If Taiwan is invaded, the U.S. will need to lead on it alongside Japan, Korea and Australia, and we in Europe will have to lead on Ukraine, and we’ll have to turn around and say to the U.S., we cannot give you what you want in support for Taiwan.”

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