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WP: NATO ramps up defense production to aid Ukraine, says US ambassador

Julianne Smith highlighted that European defense production has increased by over 40 percent, and the US is now producing nearly 80,000 rounds of 155mm shells per month to support Ukraine.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Headquarters. Photo: nato.int
WP: NATO ramps up defense production to aid Ukraine, says US ambassador

NATO countries are actively increasing the production capacity of their defense industries to strengthen Ukrainian forces, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith told The Washington Post in a recent interview.

Her remarks came ahead of the NATO Summit in Washington, scheduled for 9-11 July.

At this summit, a new command, which will coordinate assistance to Ukraine with its headquarters in Germany, is planned to be discussed.

According to Julianne Smith, NATO members’ industries are restarting production lines that were shut down many years ago.

The US ambassador stated that European defense production has increased by more than 40 percent, and the US is producing close to 80,000 rounds of 155s per month, compared to 14,000 rounds of 155s per month before the onset of Russia’s war.

“We’re working hand in glove with defense industry partners to see how we can aggregate demand and move more quickly to get Ukraine the capabilities that it needs,” said Smith.

She confirmed that a new headquarters to manage military assistance for Ukraine will be based at an American facility in Germany.

“What we’ve been working on here at NATO headquarters is some sort of new initiative that would allow the NATO alliance to coordinate all of the assistance that’s flowing into Ukraine and also to coordinate the training that many individual NATO allies have been undertaking in recent months and years,” said Smith.

The US ambassador added that the Alliance has united around the assistance to Ukraine and will continue to aid the country amid Russia’s military aggression.

“From where I sit here in NATO headquarters, I see nothing but continued unity. I think you’ll feel that at the summit in about a week and a half when President Zelenskyy is there. We are determined to help Ukraine defend its territory,” she said.

However, she noted that NATO is not a party to the war and is not directly involved. The Alliance NATO does not have troops on the ground in Ukraine, but its members believe they “have the right to assist Ukraine in defending its territory.”

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