Moscow: NATO is expected to ask its member countries to increase their stocks of ammunition, which are seriously depleted due to continued military assistance to Ukraine, Reuters reported on Monday, citing sources.
According to the report, even before the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last February, many NATO countries had not reached stockpile targets because officials believed that wars of attrition with large-scale artillery battles were a thing of the past.
“If Europe were to fight Russia, some countries would run out of ammunition in days,” a European diplomat told the news agency.
In this regard, NATO is likely to increase the target level for its members in terms of weapons stockpiles, the report added.
“I would be absolutely gobsmacked if the targets … were not increased,” a NATO official was quoted as saying by the news agency.
The official explained that the biggest shortages are 155mm shells, HIMARS missiles, and ammunition for air defense systems such as IRIS-T, Patriot, and Gepard, which are actively used by Ukrainian forces, the report noted.
However, the increase in defense production is constrained by a number of factors, including the global shortage of semiconductors, certain types of raw materials, and the problem of finding a sufficient number of highly qualified workers, the news agency reported.
“I don’t necessarily think that within the next year our stockpile levels will increase massively. Any additional stockpiles we will have will be heading to Ukraine,” the NATO official said.
The report added that decisions on stockpiling targets would be made at the NATO summit in Lithuania, scheduled for July 11-12.