Russia will run out of weapons before Ukraine, according to the UK defense minister, because Russia is isolated and cut off from the global supply chain.
In an interview published on Thursday, Sky News asked Ben Wallace if “there is a risk that western allies will run out of weapons to support Ukraine first,” as opposed to Russia.
Wallace responded that there was none.
“There is no danger,” he said.
This is because Ukraine’s Western allies are not in danger of running out of resources “Russia, on the other hand, has already isolated itself.”
He claims that Russia’s ability to manufacture and repair weapons and ammunition is tied to a global supply chain that it currently lacks access to. “They need a supply chain, and large parts of their supply chain were not in Russia, they came from all over the world including in Europe and including, indeed, even in Ukraine,” he added.
Since the start of the war, Ukraine’s allies have imposed several waves of sanctions on Russia, cutting it off from critical supplies.
However, according to The Wall Street Journal and CNBC, the West is nearing the end of its capacity to supply Ukraine with ammunition.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies reported in September that the stockpile status of five key weapons, including the infamous HIMARS, was “limited.”
Wallace responded to these concerns by saying, “We have the ability to refurbish and indeed manufacture a new supply chain, which is what we’re doing right now.”
However, CSIS noted that replenishing US reserves can be a lengthy process due to factors such as long production lead times. And, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, France “cannot deliver as much as the Ukrainians ask for” because it needs to keep some weapons for itself.
Wallace stated that the IFU, a new international fund announced in August to provide equipment and support to Ukraine, is an example of how the West can continue to supply Ukraine with weapons.
The manufacturing orders will “ensure we can continue in 2023 and 2024, and keep going,” he said.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Russia has become a major supplier of weapons to Ukraine in addition to the West’s contributions.
Fleeing Russian soldiers have abandoned large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition as Ukrainian forces pushed back and retook large swaths of territory in the north and east.
According to the outlet, Ukraine has now turned these Russians.
Wallace stated that Russia’s isolation from the rest of the world was exemplified by a UN vote on Wednesday in which 143 countries backed a motion condemning its invasion of Ukraine.
Other than Russia, the only four countries to vote against the motion were North Korea, Belarus, Syria, and Nicaragua, all of which have repressive regimes.
Russia has sought weapons from such pariah states, with US intelligence claiming that North Korea supplied it with weapons. North Korea has denied the move, which would be in violation of UN sanctions.
Russia has also received Iranian-made drones, which Ukrainian officials said were in use throughout the fall, including during President Vladimir Putin’s recent bombardment of Ukraine.