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European countries outdo US in supporting Ukraine, Lloyd Austin says

Germany, Britain, and Poland are the largest donors to Ukraine in terms of GDP.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on 11 October, 2023, in Brussels, before the meetings at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Alliance. Source: president.gov.ua
European countries outdo US in supporting Ukraine, Lloyd Austin says

European countries are the largest donors to Ukraine in terms of their GDP, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said at a press conference during the 16th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Brussels on 11 October, the European Pravda reported.

“The three largest European donors to Ukraine, Germany, Britain, and Poland, have provided more than the United States as a percentage of GDP,” Austin said. “This is also true of other countries, including Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and all three Baltic states,” the Secretary of Defense added.

Austin lauded the support for Ukraine by the countries that have announced new aid packages this month. He mentioned Germany, which will provide another Patriot air defense system and surface-to-air missiles, and Spain, which will continue its “critical training mission” and supply Ukraine with additional Hawk air defense systems.

“Sweden has announced a $200 million aid package, including artillery ammunition. Bulgaria will provide components that will allow Ukraine to strengthen its S-300 air defense systems, France has pledged to provide additional Ceasar artillery systems and accelerate their production. The UK will provide a new aid package, including support in the air defense sector. Canada will invest about half a billion dollars over three years in Ukrainian armored vehicle production facilities,” Austin said.

During the initial day of the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, the US Secretary of Defense mentioned that allies within the Ukraine Defense Contact Group of the security bloc are establishing “capability coalitions” dedicated to targeted support areas for Ukraine.

The US will lead a collaborative effort with the Netherlands and Denmark to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, Austin said.

“By leading this capability coalition, the United States will coordinate closely with Ukraine and other partners with the focus on developing Ukraine’s F-16 fighter aircraft capabilities,” Austin noted.

Denmark and the Netherlands will join the US in leading the effort “to ensure Ukrainian forces can defend their skies,” Austin confirmed. The two European countries previously announced that they would supply Ukraine with F-16s.

NATO’s endeavors extend beyond the F-16 training initiative. According to the US Secretary of Defense, Estonia and Luxembourg will bolster Ukraine’s IT defense infrastructure, and Lithuania will provide demining assistance to Ukraine. The US will engage in armor and artillery programs.

On 11 October, the US Department of Defense (DoD) announced a fresh security assistance package for Ukraine “to meet Ukraine’s critical security and defense needs.” This package, valued at $200 million, marks the Biden Administration’s 48th tranche of such assistance since August 2021.

This package includes additional air defense capabilities, anti-tank and anti-drone weapons, electronic warfare equipment, ammunition for HIMARS and artillery, and other equipment to help Ukraine counter Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion.

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