Ukraine’s Western allies ‘are all running out’ of weapons to donate, Ben Wallace admits


Ukraine’s western allies are ‘all running out’ of weapons to donate, the UK Defence Secretary has said, meaning they may have to buy more to keep Kyiv‘s forces supplied in the face of Russian aggression.

Ben Wallace said that while Western support for Ukraine remains steadfast, ‘we have seen reality, which is that we are all running out’ of defence equipment to donate. 

While Western weapons stockpiles may be dwindling, Russian forces are already lacking in much-needed equipment, he said, with a stark warning that: ‘if you punch Russian forces in the wrong place, they’ll collapse’.

The Defence Secretary was also confident about the progress of the Ukrainian forces, even suggesting that Ukraine could retake Crimea as early as this year in his interview with The Washington Post.

It comes after Rishi Sunak reiterated the UK’s unfaltering military support for Ukraine last week, as Britain sent its most potent non-nuclear missile, the Storm Shadow, to support the resistance against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Ben Wallace said that while Western support for Ukraine remains steadfast, 'we have seen reality, which is that we are all running out' of defence equipment to donate

Ben Wallace said that while Western support for Ukraine remains steadfast, ‘we have seen reality, which is that we are all running out’ of defence equipment to donate

Last week Britain sent its most potent non-nuclear missile, the Storm Shadow, to support the country's resistance against Vladimir Putin's invasion

Last week Britain sent its most potent non-nuclear missile, the Storm Shadow, to support the country’s resistance against Vladimir Putin’s invasion

The donation made the UK the first Western country to offer long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine, and added to the extensive variety of weapons gifted to Kyiv by the British government.

Britain has pledged tanks, missile launching systems, NLAW anti-tank weapons, tanks and drones to Ukraine.

The UK has so far committed £4.6 billion in arms, the second most of Ukraine’s allies behind the US ($37.6 billion).

It was reported last month that the US has so far sent weapons valued at about $21.1bn to from its stockpiles, including HIMARS launchers, Javelin anti-tank weapons and a surface-to-air missile system.

Mr Wallace’s assessment of existing munitions levels comes after strategic analyst Howard Wheeldon shared concerning analysis around Britain’s military capability earlier this week.

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region

A Ukrainian serviceman fires an NLAW anti-tank weapon during an exercise in the Joint Forces Operation, in the Donetsk region

He told the Mail: ‘All credit to the UK government for its fast response and actions, but the sad fact is that after providing an unquantified number of probably time-expired Storm Shadow missiles, the UK has little else it can give.

‘The notion that we might also have been able to provide fast jet capability left much to be desired, for the simple reason we haven’t got enough to defend the UK and continue our international commitments.

‘When it comes to equipment capability and overall available capacity, we are a nation that, when it comes to defence, is already drained of available resource.’

A report published in March outlined that if donations to Ukraine continue at their current rate, it would take ten years for British weapon stocks to reach an acceptable level. 

Addressing the London Defence Conference last week, the Prime Minister said that the UK is committed to supplying Ukraine with weapons over the long-term.

Mr Sunak said: ‘We were the first country to provide [Ukraine] with main battle tanks and longer-range weapons, we’ve also helped with air defence and trained Ukrainian forces.

‘We’ve led the charge on making sure they’ve had the resources and we are going to be steadfast in our support of Ukraine. Our support is not going to go away.

‘Ukraine can count on its allies, particularly the UK, to continue supporting them. We are united.’

Mr Sunak added that Britain was ‘leading the conversation’ with its allies on what long-term agreements can be made with Ukraine to ensure the country’s security.

The Prime Minister also reiterated his ambition to increase UK defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP – but did not set a date for doing so.



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