“Ukraine is convinced that it can win. And all of us who are here, too.” These are the words of Austin Lloyd III, US Secretary of Defense, organizer of the meeting at the US military base in Ramstein, Germany, which created the Ukraine Security Advisory Group, a contact group that will meet every month to analyze the crisis. The 43 members are 30 NATO countries, as well as US allies in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Lloyd Austin stated: “We are here to help Ukraine win the war against Russia’s unjust invasion and build Ukraine’s defenses for tomorrow’s challenges.” Defense Secretary and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was just in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “This visit only heightened my sense of urgency, the urgency that we all share,” Lloyd Austin said. “Therefore, I would like this group to leave today with a common and transparent understanding of Ukraine’s short-term security needs. because we’re going to keep moving heaven and earth to fulfill them.”
Today’s meeting would not have been possible without the leadership of my friend Minister @oleksiireznikov. These over 40 countries are here today because of the wonderful work that Ukraine has done to protect itself. Their valor and skill will go down in military history. pic.twitter.com/vYWDEGR39d
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) April 26, 2022
The US Secretary of Defense referred to announcements of new arms deliveries to Ukraine: “As Secretary Christine Lambrecht announced today, Germany will send about 50 Cheetah anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine. And yesterday the British government announced that it would also provide Ukraine with significant air defense capabilities.”
In addition, the head of the US Army said that “today’s meeting will become a monthly contact group on the defense of Ukraine. The Contact Group will be a vehicle for nations to step up their efforts, coordinate aid, and focus on winning today’s war and future battles.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, who was hugged by his American counterpart, said: “An important meeting at the Ramstein base. True friends of Ukraine, who are with us, united to support us in the fight for freedom and democracy. I am grateful to the Secretary of Defense for his leadership.”
“Ukraine needs our help to win today,” the US Secretary of Defense said, “and it will need our help when the war is over.”
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