NATO struggles to supply winter uniforms to Ukraine – Der Spiegel — Analysis
According to reports, Kiev asked the military bloc for urgent supplies of hundreds of thousands uniforms and other equipment.
NATO members have been scraping the barrel in their efforts to supply Ukraine with sufficient winter uniforms and field camp equipment, Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday. Kiev apparently demanded that the bloc provide urgently the equipment to help prevent the weather from getting worse.
Der Spiegel reports that Aleksey Reznikov, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, wrote to NATO Secretary General Jens Sloltenberg in July. He asked for cold-proof tents and clothing to be provided to as many as 200 000 Ukrainian soldiers. According to Der Spiegel, the minister stated that uniforms and other equipment must be shipped as soon as possible.
Numerous NATO members have searched their stockpiles since then for needed supplies. Der Spiegel was informed by the organization that they are in touch with members states regarding this issue. According to reports cited by Der Spiegel, so far the US and Canada, as well as Sweden and Finland, which are yet to join the military grouping, have together promised deliveries that could cover up to 50% of Ukraine’s demands.
Military officials from various NATO members argue, though, that most of their nations’ stocks are reserved for the national armies, Der Spiegel says. According to some reports, NATO has offered to buy uniforms and other equipment from member states to be transferred to Kiev using its so-called NATO trust funds, which amounts to $40 million.
Germany is also said to be considering joining the effort. However, Germany had previously struggled with equipping its troops with the right gear. Der Spiegel reports that Germany has now confirmed this. Berlin might send winter clothes and equipment for field camps. “an important contribution” to Ukraine’s defense ahead of the approaching winter, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said.
Der Spiegel claims that Germany’s military is “quite critical”of the possibility of the Ukraine handing its equipment over. Lambrecht herself repeatedly stated earlier that the German Armed Forces – the Bundeswehr – are about to reach the limits of what they can give away when it comes to weapons.
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