NATO's secretary general called on Europe to increase its arms production to support Ukraine and prevent "potentially decades of confrontation" with Moscow, in an interview published by German media Saturday.

Ahead of a key meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels and the second anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war, Jens Stoltenberg insisted that "we need to reconstitute and expand our industrial base faster, to increase deliveries to Ukraine and refill our own stocks."

"This means shifting from slow peacetime to high-tempo conflict production," he told the German Sunday daily Welt am Sonntag.

Stoltenberg's comments came amidst growing pleas for shells, ammunition and other military aide from Ukraine as it battles Russian forces into a third year.

Western leaders have also called for greater assistance. Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Joe Biden urged US lawmakers Friday to approve a long-delayed military aid package for Ukraine, warning that Kyiv could not hold off Russia's invasion without it.

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"The failure of the United States' Congress in not supporting Ukraine is close to criminal neglect," Biden said as he hosted Scholz in the Oval Office on Friday.

Stoltenberg said: "There is no imminent military threat against any ally. At the same time, we hear regular threats from the Kremlin against NATO countries."

Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly two years has shown that "peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted", the NATO chief said, emphasizing the importance of protecting countries in the alliance.

As US Stalls on Ukraine Aid, Europe Leads Worldwide Hunt for Critically-Needed Artillery Shells
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As US Stalls on Ukraine Aid, Europe Leads Worldwide Hunt for Critically-Needed Artillery Shells

It’s a good time to manufacture 155mm howitzer rounds.

"As long as we invest in our security and we stay united, we will continue to deter any aggression," he said.

"NATO does not seek war with Russia, but we need to brace ourselves for potentially decades of confrontation," he added.

"We monitor closely what Russia does and we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance," Stoltenberg said.

"If Putin wins in Ukraine, there is no guarantee that Russian aggression will not spread further. So supporting Ukraine now and investing in NATO’s own capabilities is our best defense."

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NATO defense ministers will meet in Brussels on Feb. 15, one week ahead of the second anniversary of Russia's offensive in Ukraine. A meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group will be a key feature of the talks.

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Comments (2)

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peter
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The weak Nato Chief knows it takes years to improve the production. Germany is not able to produce 350 Tanks annually. To many models - meaning not enough spare parts no centralised production. Ukraine would be in better shape if they start smaller productions of a few weapons types. Grenades, Howitzer and ammunition. Riffles should be reduced to 5 Types, actually there are 21 in storage.

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Finn Bjerrehave
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Krigen er i teorien Nato,s kamp mod Rusland, nemlig Ukraine ville ikke kunne holde Rusland ude af Ukraine uden Nato,s våben, Problemet er bare Nato er bange for Putin og tør ikke levere flystøtte, men hvis Ukraine taber, taber Nato endnu mere, og det må aldrig ske

John
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@Finn Bjerrehave, I agree with all the points you've made.

I also observe many NATO member nations, including embarrassingly my own (Canada... under multiple administrations), are still not pulling their weight. I again wrote all my national political leaders and our NATO and UN reps today to strongly urge them to pick up the pace of our country's preparation for a broader extended war.

John Smith
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@John, Trudeau is a dead man walking politically continue to write. Support for the war in Canada continues to decline.

John
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@John Smith, Regarding Trudeau who know eh? Can't say Canadian agree with all his policies, but certainly if Pierre Polievre is trying to turn Ukraine aid into a wedge issue as he's been advised by that parties former Conservative leadership its going to cost them significant votes which will once again probably cost them the election and we will be right back to a Liberal / NDP alliance controlling our governement.....so same path forward on Ukraine aid.

It is concerning that within the minority Conservative leaning faithful those saying we are giving too much to Ukraine rose to 43%. However those poled feeling the same with the Liberal and NDP allegiance remains a very low 10 and 12% respectively as per the latest Angus polls. However a Village Media poll a few weeks earlier also said 83% wanted to increase aid to Ukraine and an astounding 60% said they were okay with Canada putting boots on the ground in Ukraine......so you never know with polls.....results could be swayed by a bit of undigested beef or a rainy day.

In my circle folks are at the whatever it takes in the way of Ukraine support to end this quickly. Most still want NATO jets in the Ukraine like 2 years ago to bomb the invades. Me....I get madder at russians every day and I don't even have ties to Ukraine like the 1.3 million Ukrainian diaspora residing here.

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