Ukraine needs simplified and accelerated arms supply procedures, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told a panel on military assistance within the GLOBSEC-2022 International Security Forum in Bratislava.
That’s according to the Ministry of Defense press service, Ukrinform reports.
During the event, the participants discussed problematic issues of arms and military equipment supply to Ukraine, the principles and approaches to be applied by nations in supporting the process of transferring security assistance.
Reznikov thanked the host country of the Forum, the Slovak people, and the GLOBSEC community for their support of Ukraine. He also thanked his colleagues, Defense Ministers Yaroslav Nad’ and Dragomir Zakov, for their support from the Governments of the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Bulgaria.
The head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry briefed panel members about the security situation in order for them to better understand the needs of Ukraine’s Army.
“Russia is trying to capture the south and east of our state, while not abandoning the goal of capturing Kyiv and destroying Ukrainian statehood. Heavy fighting broke out in Donetsk and Luhansk regions this week. The enemy is throwing in considerable forces in order to capture Siverodonetsk, Lysychansk, and further take control of the entire Luhansk region,” Reznikov said.
He said that the Russian army outnumbers the Ukrainian forces in long-range artillery, armored vehicles, and warplanes. The Russians also have an uninterrupted supply of Soviet-era ammunition to destroy peaceful settlements.
“In Kherson region, the Russian army is building deeply echeloned defense lines. Our goal is to prevent the realization of Russian scenarios and liberate our territories as soon as possible,” Reznikov stressed.
According to the minister, Ukraine’s Defense Forces need heavy weapons, primarily MLR systems, as well as other artillery, tanks, anti-ship systems, unmanned systems, missile and air defense, special missiles to counter enemy radars, which will allow Ukraine to deploy own combat aircraft.
“We need them quickly and in numbers commensurate with the scale of the threats. Ukraine found itself in a state of war without adequate support from the democratic world. The situation is changing now, albeit slowly. We appreciate the contribution of each nation, which is currently with Ukraine, which has committed itself to make efforts to increase the effectiveness of international support,” added the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
He recalled that during the last Ramstein meeting of defense chiefs, attention was focused on three key aspects of the process: timing, transfer, and range of assistance.
According to Oleksiy Reznikov, “peacetime” procedures should obviously not be used during the war, as delays, measured in days and weeks, cost many lives of Ukrainians.
“I would ask you to take appropriate decisions and inform your governments about the issue. There are many examples where my colleagues, ministers of defense, support the initiative, while having to coordinate the implementation with their ministers of finance or other government bodies, which often slows down the process. We need simplified and accelerated procedures,” Reznikov said.
It was also suggested to jointly analyze each format of assistance to divide them into three categories: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Reznikov stressed that such assistance is considered from a quantitative and qualitative perspectives: how to increase the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at any given period.
“The ideal goal is to get weapons and military equipment as an organic unit. Ukraine has changed its philosophy in arms supplies: while in the first month of the war we focused on anti-tank and anti-aircraft portable systems, now the nature of the war has changed, and we need more heavy weapons,” Reznikov said, noting that Soviet-era weapons and ammunition are running out, so NATO-standard weapons, ammunition, and military equipment are needed to replace them.
Separately, the Ukrainian Minister stressed the need for Ukrainian crews to be trained before the weapons actually arrive in Ukraine.
“This also applies to the training of maintenance and repair specialists, which will ensure longer life of the assistance provided. Also, let’s not forget about the development of our defense industry to provide long-term maintenance and repair cycles,” Reznikov said.
The Minister sees NATO’s role as prominent in this regard, which implies assessment of enhancing Ukraine’s integration into the Alliance.
As reported earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky, while addressing the GLOBSEC forum, said Europe must strengthen unity, including by granting Ukraine a candidate status to eventually acquire membership.