NATO countries urgently need to boost arms production, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba warned ahead of a meeting of the alliance’s ministers this week.
In an interview with Politico late Monday, the Ukrainian politician said it would not be possible to win on the battlefield in the long term without investing in producing more weapons.
Kuleba said, “While we are fighting today’s battle, we have to think about how we will fight tomorrow’s battle.”
A minister sitting at a table in a small train compartment in Ukraine said that NATO countries “should start producing the necessary weapons from today.”
If it doesn’t, he cautioned, “we won’t be able to win – as easy as that.”
POLITICO is withholding the exact location of the train for security reasons.
NATO ministers are set to hold talks in Bucharest on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the agenda expected to include ways to better support Ukraine.
“The last time I attended [a] At the NATO ministerial, I came up with three words: weapons, weapons, and weapons,” Kuleba recalled. “This time, while this request is absolutely intense, I will qualify it by saying that we need air defense, tanks, and production lines. the wanted.”
The Ukrainian minister said authorities should be realistic – and less dependent on fickle partners.
“We also have to face a fact: there are countries in the world that have what Ukraine needs but are not going to sell it in sufficient quantities for political reasons,” he said.
“Instead of spending months trying to persuade and persuade them, production has to start so that…we are not dependent on the whims of third countries who have stuff in stock but are not willing to share it “
And while praising Ukraine’s partners for their contribution to Ukraine’s security, Kuleba was also clear about the changes he would like to see in Western decision-making regarding support for Kyiv.
Ukrainian officials, as well as some of Kyiv’s closest allies, have been critical of the tendency in the past few months by some Western governments to first express reluctance to offer some form of support and then gradually change policies as Russia Resentment grows at K’s behaviour.
“We wasted too much time – and too many lives, and too many square kilometers of our land. So I think – I hope – that wisdom will prevail, that everything should be done in time, and that we should avoid another tragedy. Should not wait so that someone overcomes the psychological barriers to make one or another decision about Ukraine, ”said Kuleba.
Asked about those who want Ukraine to consider talks with Russia, the minister said reports of pressure have been exaggerated.
“I have to say that this notion of soft pressure on Ukraine is largely exaggerated,” Kuleba said.
“I wouldn’t say it doesn’t exist, but it hasn’t taken the form of a soft pressure either,” he said, “I would just say it’s a discussion about what’s next, how we’re going to handle it together.
Kuleba also addressed Ukraine’s poor relations with its neighbor Hungary.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said it is “playing its own game with the European Union – and sometimes using Ukraine as a hostage to that relationship.”
And the minister sent a message to ordinary Hungarians: “Whatever you read in your official media, Ukrainians have no animosity towards Hungarians.
“We were friends, we are friends and we will remain friends. “But we need to win this war, and it is in Hungary’s best interest that Ukraine wins.”