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Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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US urges its allies to arm Ukraine more and better

The United States expects European countries to be more committed to military assistance to Ukraine, as shown Tuesday at a conference held at its Ramstein military base in Germany. At the invitation of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the defense ministers and chiefs of staff of 40 allied countries agreed to increase the supply of weapons to the country that was invaded, without giving specific details.

“The meeting will become a monthly contact group on the defense of Ukraine,” Austin said at a short afternoon press conference. He added that the goal is to coordinate “nations of goodwill to step up our efforts, coordinate our assistance and focus on winning today’s and future battles.”

After two months of war following the February 24 Russian invasion, the Ukrainian army is fighting and resisting, but Kyiv is demanding heavy artillery and armored vehicles to counter Vladimir Putin’s attempt to occupy the south and east of the country. “Ukraine clearly believes it can win, and we all believe it here,” Austin said in the morning as he opened the job.


After meeting at the US military base in Ramstein, Germany, Lloyd Austin announced that there would be a “monthly contact group for the defense of Ukraine” of the allied countries.

A sign that the pressure on countries like the reluctant Germany was already overwhelming was the mid-afternoon announcement that the government was finally allowing the sale of battle tanks to Ukraine. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in Ramstein that Germany will allow fifty Gepard tanks equipped with anti-aircraft artillery, which can also be used against ground targets, to be sent to Ukraine. The tanks are owned by the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) consortium. Austin called the proposal “significant”.

The meeting was preceded by a warning from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who on Monday evening spoke of a “real danger” in an interview with Russian state television about the possibility of a third world war and nuclear escalation. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, when asked about this in Ramstein, replied that “speculation about a nuclear war does not help and is dangerous.”

Among the 40 participating countries were European allies of the United States, as well as geographically more distant countries such as Australia and Japan, which fear that a Russian victory in Ukraine would set a precedent and encourage China’s territorial ambitions. Also represented were Finland and Sweden, who after decades of neutrality now want to join NATO. From Spain participated JEMAD, Admiral General Teodoro Lopez Calderon.

On Sunday, Lloyd Austin and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made a brief visit to Kyiv, the first high-level US visit since the start of the war, during which they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for about three hours.

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