Amid the broader problem of Ukrainian frontlines not advancing against superior Russian artillery and vast mine fields, Europe has been scrambling to boost its military support to Kiev. But now the problem of Europe's own diminishing defense supplies is being felt more than ever, as many predicted.
On Wednesday German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said his country plans to drastically ramp up purchases of ammunition in 2024, in an effort to replenish Germany's own stocks which were depleted by donations to Ukraine.
"We aim to more than triple our spending on ammunition purchases in 2024," he said in a speech before parliament, but without revealing further details.
Ukrainian forces have been burning through shells at a much higher rate than Western countries can produce them. While Washington makes a nice show of pledging new billions to the Zelensky government, it only does limited good on the actual battlefield given more artillery and weapons cannot magically appear in only days.
NATO countries starting months ago sounded the alarm over their own dwindling inventories, also at a moment the risk ever-remains that the Western alliance and Russia could enter a direct shooting war.
But Germany and its European allies are working on a plan, as Reuters explains:
Germany is in negotiations with the Netherlands and Denmark on the joint procurement of ammunition, a defence source told Reuters on Wednesday, as Western countries are scrambling to replenish stocks depleted by donations to Ukraine. Germany is in negotiations with the Netherlands and Denmark on the joint procurement of ammunition, a defence source told Reuters on Wednesday, as Western countries are scrambling to replenish stocks depleted by donations to Ukraine.
"Germany is ready to open its framework contracts (for the procurement of ammunition) to our partners as Defence Minister Boris Pistorius pledged earlier this year," the source said, without giving details on the kind of ammunition affected.
Meanwhile, Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, has said in an interview given to Russian media that Ukraine is blowing through an estimated $100 million per day on the conflict.
"There's no accountability for the expenditures going on right now in Ukraine, […] but $100 million a day of spending is a lot in the minds of the American people, especially when they're confronted with inflation. That's real money to them," Maloof said.
Ukraine Money Train: Kyiv Spending $100 Million Per Day on War, Says Ousted Defence Ministerhttps://t.co/geuzseBTiR— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 5, 2023
He said that now former Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov recently publicized the figure. "When he [Reznikov] comes up and starts making comments like that and we're seeing the disasters that we are in, the question then arises, why are we continuing to fund this thing? We're not seeing results. The West is not seeing results. Europe is saying the same thing," Maloof added.