Stoltenberg calls on Europe to increase weapons production

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Europe to increase arms production to support Ukraine and prevent "potentially decades of confrontation" with Moscow.
Ahead of a key meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels and the second anniversary of the Russo-Ukraine war, Jens Stoltenberg insisted that "we must more quickly rebuild and expand our industrial base, increase supplies to Ukraine and replenish our own stockpiles".
"This means moving from slow peacetime to high-speed production in conflict," he told German daily Welt am Sonntag.
Stoltenberg's comments came amid increasing requests for shells, ammunition and other military aid from Ukraine.
Western leaders have also called for more aid. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden urged US lawmakers on Friday to approve a long-delayed military aid package for Ukraine, warning that without it Kiev would not be able to hold off a Russian invasion.
Stoltenberg said: "There is no immediate military threat against any ally. At the same time, we regularly hear threats from the Kremlin against NATO countries."
Russia's invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago showed that "peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted," the head of NATO said, stressing the importance of protecting the alliance's countries.
"As long as we invest in our security and remain united, we will continue to deter any aggression," he said.
"NATO is not seeking war with Russia, but we must prepare for potentially decades of confrontation," he added.
"We are closely monitoring what Russia is doing and have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance," Stoltenberg said.
"If Putin wins in Ukraine, there is no guarantee that Russian aggression will not spread further. So supporting Ukraine now and investing in NATO's own capabilities is our best defense."
NATO defense ministers will meet in Brussels on February 15, a week before the second anniversary of the Russian offensive in Ukraine. A key part of the talks will be the meeting of the Contact Group on the Defense of Ukraine. /BGNES