Due to lack of foresight, European arms stocks to support Ukraine are critically depleted

After Poland, it is the turn of Italy and Great Britain to warn of the exhaustion of European arms stocks potentially transferable to Ukraine, while the conflict shows no sign of ending. conclusion close. The outlook is therefore getting even darker for Kyiv, while Moscow is showing itself, not without reason, to be more confident than ever in the success of its military operation. However, there remain certain possibilities for countries like France and Great Britain to reverse the deadly course of events.

The depletion of European arms stocks: a predictable but ignored situation

Last January, Meta-Defense published an article going against the general idea, highlighting the decisive role that the renewal of Russian industrial defense production would have, in the months to come, in the continuation of the conflict.

A threat identified from January 2023

Beyond the future effects of the activity of large Russian defense companies such as the tank specialist Uralvagonzavod, the article highlighted a major weakness in the support system implemented by the West, and in particular by the Europeans, in their support for Ukraine.

These, in fact, transferred then, and still today, equipment taken from army stocks, most often equipment close to declassification.

Uralvagonzavod
Russian industrial production is today the only relevant game changer surrounding the conflict in Ukraine.

These stocks, which allowed Western chancelleries to respond quickly to the needs expressed by Kyiv, were on the other hand, and obviously, limited.

The article concluded that to support the standoff with Russia, it was then essential for Europeans to put in place an industrial strategy mirroring that applied by Moscow, making it possible to provide the Ukrainian armies with the necessary materials to compensate for the rise in progressive power of Russian armies supported by their own defense industry.

Unfortunately for Kyiv, the Europeans have, at no time, taken the measure of the risk and the issues. Worse, a feeling gradually took hold in Western chancelleries that the Russian armies were so eroded that they would no longer represent a potential threat for many years.

Europeans, between passivity and excess confidence

In fact, apart from a few countries in Eastern and Northern Europe, many European countries returned to the ambitions expressed a few months earlier to once again equip themselves with a conventional armed force, sized and equipped for hypothesis of a major fight in Europe.

Furthermore, none of these countries has undertaken, individually or collectively, to deploy the industrial means likely to counterbalance the Russian defense industry, and Moscow's medium-term strategy to bring down Ukraine.

T-90 destroyed in Ukraine
The images of the destruction of Russian equipment in Ukraine, and the excessively triumphalist discourse sometimes given on this subject, have wrongly convinced Europeans of the weakness of the Russian armies.

Finally, Kyiv now lives under the threat of the possible return of Donald Trump to the White House in 2025, as well as that of a blockage in Congress by Republican representatives likely to freeze American aid to Ukraine quickly.

It is in this already highly anxiety-provoking context that several announcements from European capitals have recently further darkened the picture.

Arms stocks transferable to Ukraine are running out in Poland, Italy and Great Britain

A few weeks ago already, Warsaw announced that it would henceforth be unable to deliver weapons to Ukraine, having emptied its stocks to a minimum level to maintain its defense.

At the beginning of October, it was the turn of the Italian Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, to warn of the exhaustion of arms stocks mobilized to support Ukraine. According to him, Italy did “everything it could” to support Kyiv, and was no longer able to transfer new equipment without, again, threatening the country's defense.

The same day, the British daily The Telegraph cited an “official, but anonymous” source, who said essentially the same thing as the Italian minister, namely that the British armies had also transferred all the equipment they could to the Ukrainian armies, and now no longer had any mobilizable stocks to continue to do so. TO DO.

Ukrainian initiatives to try to compensate for Western exhaustion

Despite the declarations of French President Emmanuel Macron at the Grenada summit, it seems that Europeans are reaching the limits of their stocks more quickly, if not of the stated desire to support Ukraine.

macron zelensky Grenada 2023
The confidence expressed by Emmanuel Macron towards his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky regarding European support for Ukraine seems to be dissociated from industrial realities on the old continent.

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