Contact Group has committed $65B in security assistance to Ukraine - Austin

Contact Group has committed $65B in security assistance to Ukraine - Austin

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group has allocated about $65 billion in security assistance to Ukraine to further strengthen and improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force in real time and in the long run.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said this in his opening remarks at the 12th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"In total, the Contact Group has committed nearly $65 billion in security assistance. Now, Putin was hoping that our resolve would fade. And he was betting that our unity would crack. Instead, we remain as united as ever," Austin said.

He noted that since the Ukraine Defense Contact Group met last month, the United States has committed an additional $1.8 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. That includes a recent package of $375 million with equipment such as HIMARS ammunition, anti-tank systems, and laser-guided rockets. As part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, the United States funded additional air-defense systems and munitions. That package also includes equipment that will integrate Ukraine's legacy air-defense systems with air-defense launchers, missiles, and radars from members of this Contact Group.

"We are focused on contributions that make a real difference in real time. Yet the United States is also committed to standing with Ukraine for the long haul. And so are the countries that have gathered here today," Austin said.

In this regard, he recalled that Germany had pledged to provide Ukraine with more Leopard tanks, ammunition, combat drones, and more, in a package worth nearly $3 billion, which "reflects Germany's drive to meet Ukraine's near-term needs, and Germany's investment for the long haul."

In addition, Austin noted the efforts of Denmark, which provided Ukraine with air defense support, mine-clearing vehicles, mobile field bridges and recovery vehicles, as well as the contribution of France that has committed more light tanks and armored vehicles.

"We've trained nine motorized and mechanized brigades, and continue to execute collective training for Ukrainian combat units," Austin said.

According to him, all these donations respond to Ukraine's top-priority requirements and reflect the sustained resolve of this Contact Group.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group last met in Germany on April 21.

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