NATO chief slams slow delivery of arms for Ukraine

NATO chief slams slow delivery of arms for Ukraine

NATO countries have not delivered what they promised to Ukraine in time, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday.

This has allowed Russia to press its advantage on the battlefield, while Kyiv’s depleted forces wait for military supplies from the US and Europe, the NATO chief added.

"Serious delays in support have meant serious consequences on the battlefield” for Ukraine, Stoltenberg told a news conference in Kyiv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Ukraine was recently compelled to make a tactical retreat from three villages in the east, where the Kremlin's forces have been making incremental gains, Ukraine's army chief said on Sunday.

Russia's Defence Ministry claimed on Monday its forces had also taken the village of Semenivka.

“The lack of ammunition has allowed the Russians to push forward along the front line. Lack of air defence has made it possible for more Russian missiles to hit their targets, and the lack of deep strike capabilities has made it possible for the Russians to concentrate more forces,” Stoltenberg said.

Kyiv’s Western partners have repeatedly vowed to stand with Kyiv “for as long as it takes.” But vital US military help was held up for six months by political differences in Washington, while Europe’s military hardware production has not kept up with demand.

Ukraine’s own manufacturing of heavy weapons is only now starting to gain traction.

Now, Ukraine and its Western partners are racing to deploy critical new military aid that can help check the slow, but steady, Russian advance across eastern areas, as well as thwart drone and missile attacks.

Zelenskyy said new Western supplies have started arriving, but slowly.

"This process must be speeded up,” he said at the news conference with Stoltenberg.

Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh, at a briefing with reporters Monday, also acknowledged Russia’s recent battlefield gains, noting that a delay in congressional approval for additional spending “set the Ukrainians back.”

NATO chief Stoltenberg, however, said more weapons and ammunition for Ukraine are on the way, including Patriot missile systems to defend against heavy Russian barrages that smash into the power grid and urban areas.

The meeting comes a day after Russian state TV aired footage of an exhibition of Western equipment captured in Ukraine.

Thirty armoured vehicles from the US, UK, Germany and other countries can be seen in the exhibition.