Ramstein participants agree to give Ukraine additional air defenses - Austin

Ramstein participants agree to give Ukraine additional air defenses - Austin

Members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group agreed on Thursday to find more opportunities to provide Ukrainians with additional air defense systems, including those from existing stocks, as well as to manufacture more units.

This was stated by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who spoke at a press conference following the Ramstein 12 meeting, Ukrinform's own correspondent reports.

"Now one of Ukraine's most urgent requirements is ground-based air defense. And this contact group will continue driving hard to help Ukraine defend their skies," head of the Pentagon noted.

In recent weeks, Austin recalled, Russia has “intensified its sordid bombardment of Ukraine cities and infrastructure. And the Kremlin's cruelty only underscores Ukraine's need for a stronger-layered ground-based air defense architecture.”

Read also: U.S. approves $285M sale of NASAMS air defense system to Ukraine

The members of the Contact Group continue to scour their stocks for missiles and systems that they can send, the Pentagon chief explained. The United States and other members of the Group have worked with the private sector on contracts to build new NASAMS and other air defense equipment.

“And I applaud the countries that are finding ways to meet Ukraine's urgent air defense needs. And we will stay laser-focused on this task,” said Austin.

He also recalled that for more than a year, the Ukraine Defense Contact Group of nearly 50 countries has rushed security assistance to Ukraine that includes air defense systems, armored vehicles, and large quantities of ammunition. Contact Group members have also trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers to repel Russian invaders.

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“And today we committed to doing even more to support Ukraine's fight for freedom. I came away from today's meeting as confident as ever, in the Contact Group's resolve and sustained unity,” Austin noted.

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