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US Defense Secretary: Allies pledge Ukraine $95 bn worth of weapons since beginning of the war

Allies have committed over $95 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 invasion, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the 22nd Ramstein’s meeting
Lloyd Austin US Defense Secretary
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a press conference during a two-day meeting of the alliance’s Defence Ministers at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on February 14, 2023. Photo credit: Ale_Mi
US Defense Secretary: Allies pledge Ukraine $95 bn worth of weapons since beginning of the war

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany that the allies have committed over $95 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.

On 20 May, the Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense held its regular 22nd meeting of high-ranking representatives of the defense ministries in a virtual Ramstein format.

Austin praised Ukraine’s defenders, saying, “Ukraine’s defenders are showing extraordinary courage and skill. And they’re putting this Contact Group’s capabilities to good use.”

The Pentagon said the meeting reportedly brought together defense ministers and chiefs from nearly 50 countries “to continue close coordination and ensure that Ukraine has the means necessary to defend its sovereign territory.”

According to Austin, the US remains determined to support Ukraine. “We are again delivering urgently needed assistance to Ukraine. And the security assistance that we are now rushing to Ukraine will make a real difference in this fight.”

President Biden announced earlier in May an additional package worth $400 million. The package included additional munitions for NASAMS and Patriot air-defense systems, more HIMARS systems, ammunition for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and Javelin and AT-4 anti-armor systems.

The Pentagon said, “That will help Ukraine defend Kharkiv and other frontline areas under renewed Russian threat.”

Austin criticized Russian actions, stating, “The Kremlin continues to intensify its bombardment of Ukraine using Russian missiles and Iranian drones to strike more civilian targets across Ukraine’s territory and to put more innocent Ukrainians in the crosshairs.”

Austin stressed the stakes: “Ukraine’s survival and success are central to Ukrainian, European, global, and American security.”

The 22nd Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense meeting is hosted by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown.

The last 21st meeting in the Ramstein format took place on 26 April. At the meeting, Pentagon Secretary Lloyd Austin confirmed that the United States would allocate $6 billion for military assistance to Ukraine under the USAI mechanism.

The Ramstein group is being convened against the backdrop of the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, particularly in the Kharkiv Oblast, and the Ukrainian Defense Forces’ attempts to hold their ground.

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