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NATO experiencing weapon shortage after pouring arms into Ukraine

The topic of strained weapons supply is coming up “all the time” among NATO countries – particularly smaller ones – after the military alliance poured billions of euros worth of weapons into Ukraine to aid in the fight against Russia.

That’s what Estonian Defence Minister, Hanno Pevkur, said this week at a German Marshall Fund event, as reported by the Associated Press.

According to the outlet, numerous NATO member states are beginning to struggle with a lack of their own domestic weapon stocks, with Lithuanian MP Dovilė Šakalienė saying that many countries are “just burning through” their supplies.

“Ukraine has led to a general shortage of supply because so many states have forgotten that conventional war is burning through your ammunition reserve. Just burning through it,” she said.

“In certain situations, even the word ‘excess’ is not applicable. In certain situations, we left ourselves with a bare minimum.”

Additionally, the German Ministry of Defence reportedly told AP that the EU’s biggest economy is running low on weapon supplies as well.

“Yes, the Bundeswehr’s stocks are limited, just as it is the case in other European countries” they reportedly said.

“I cannot tell you what the exact stockpiles are because of security aspects. However, we are working to close the current gaps.”

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin recently urged other members of the alliance “to dig deep and provide additional capability” to Ukraine. However, Estonian Defence Minister, Hanno Pevkur, warned that NATO may be leaving itself defenceless in the event of a more direct conflict with Russia.

“Our estimation is that Russia will restore their capabilities sooner rather than later,” said Pevkur, who explained that Russian President Vladimir Putin can order weapon manufacturing companies to make arms around the clock.

The Estonian Minister added that Putin had even sent some Russian troops to factories to build weapons rather than sending them into battle in Ukraine.

Pevkur claimed that historically Russia has consistently built up its military to launch invasions against neighbouring countries, citing the 2008 invasion of Georgia, the 2014 invasion of Ukrainian-controlled Crimea, and now the 2022 invasion of the Ukrainian mainland.

“So the question is, ‘How much risk are you ready to take?’” he asked.

Gript previously reported how many European leaders have expressed concern that weapons being poured into Ukraine may ultimately wind up in the hands of European criminals.

“We know from experience that this often comes after or during a war,” said Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs and Migration, according to Europaportalen.

“We need to be prepared from the outset.”

However, an unnamed EU official reportedly said that the EU would not be able to prevent this from happening.

“It is hard to avoid weapons-smuggling,” they said.

“We try to keep track of them, but I would be lying if I said we will succeed. We failed after the war in Yugoslavia, and we can’t prevent it now.”

Back in May, ex-PSNI superintendent Ken Penngington warned that many thousands of “combat-grade” anti-tank weapons sent to Ukraine from Belfast may ultimately end up in the possession of northern Irish Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries.

Pennington, who is now involved in counterterrorism, said that about 17,000 NLAW rocket launchers had been sent to Ukraine but not tracked, and he fears smugglers could sell them to groups like dissident Republicans and the UVF.

 

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