Pentagon chief believes latest Ramstein meeting

Pentagon chief believes latest Ramstein meeting "highly productive"

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin praised the outcome of the Thursday meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Thursday, and assured that the United States is working every day to ensure additional air defense capabilities for Ukraine.

He said this following the meeting in Brussels, Ukrinform's own correspondent reports.

"General Brown (chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff – ed.) and I have just come from a highly productive meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group," the head of the Pentagon said.

He recalled that this was already the 23rd meeting, and every time it is held, he is "impressed by the resolve of the more than 50 countries helping to support Ukraine’s self-defense." This, he believes, allows Ukraine’s Armed Forces to inflict significant damage on Russian troops.

Read also: Umerov, Austin discuss Ukraine's defense needs at Ramstein meeting

Austin emphasized that air defense remains the main priority for Ukraine at the moment. In this context, he noted the assistance provided in the field of air defense capabilities, in particular, by the Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy.

In response to the question of whether the US is ready to announce the terms of providing Ukraine with an additional Patriot system, Austin noted that he has no official announcements to offer just yet. However, according he added, work in this direction continues on a daily basis.

"We’re going to do everything we can to get Ukraine what it needs. We’re going to encourage others, we’re going to work with others to get Ukraine with what it needs as soon as possible," said the minister.

In addition, he emphasized that the United States has no plans to change the air defense coverage over Poland in order to transfer additional systems to Ukraine.

Read also: Ramstein group members committed $98B in security aid to Ukraine - Austin

Austin also emphasized that the countries of the Ramstein format are working in parallel lines to strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine over the long haul, and on Thursday discussed ways to expand the production of critical ammunition and weapons systems.

In addition, the head of the Pentagon underlined the importance of signing bilateral agreements with Ukraine and emphasized that the United States is also ready to take this step so that the Armed Forces can deter potential aggression in the future.

"We understand the stakes and the outcome of the war in Ukraine will help set the trajectory for global security for decades to come," the U.S. Defense Secretary emphasized.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, the 23rd meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group was held in Brussels on Thursday. It traditionally brought together defense chiefs from nearly 50 countries.

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