United States: Lloyd Austin assures Ukraine of urgent and long-term defense support | Russia | Vladimir Putin | Volodymyr Zelensky | Joe Biden | NMR | WORLD

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin assured on Tuesday that the fifty countries that make up Ukraine’s defense contact group are willing to maintain their support for Ukraine’s most urgent and long-term defense capabilities.

“We will continue to boost Ukraine’s defensive capabilities for today’s and long-term urgent needs”stressed the Pentagon chief in a speech at the beginning of the sixth meeting of the contact group, which is being held at NATO headquarters before a meeting of Alliance defense ministers begins.

The Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, is also participating in the meeting to give a first-hand account of the needs of his country.

Austin assured that the latest attacks by Russian forces against urban centers and civilian infrastructure, “have only deepened the determination of the Ukrainian people and united more the countries of good will from every region of the Earth.”

The US Secretary of Defense stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is trying to mobilize more forces and claim sovereign territory of Ukraine for Russia” and it is “using threats and irresponsible rhetoric.”

Instead, he gave the example of the contact group countries’ unity in providing Ukraine with the weaponry it needs and that “has made a difference on the battlefield time and time again.”

He recalled that these countries have committed billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, as well as humanitarian and financial assistance, in addition to promoting new investments in the industry to meet Ukrainian defensive requirements.

The United States announced two weeks ago that it will send a new military aid package to Ukraine, worth 1.1 billion dollars, consisting of weapons and military equipment that includes 18 new High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), as well as hundreds of armored cars, radars and anti-drone batteries.

“And we are increasingly positioning ourselves to support Ukraine’s defense needs in the difficult months and years ahead,” Austin pointed out.

He explained that long-term support implies intensifying efforts to train Ukrainians so that “make the most of their new capabilities” and “push our industrial bases to innovate”.

For her part, the German Defense Minister, Christine Labrecht, stressed that the shipment that Berlin made today to Ukraine of the first Iris-T anti-aircraft defense system is “a great support” for kyiv, and stated that in 2023 the remaining three systems will be shipped.

“We do our best to get them shipped as quickly as possible”assured the minister, who highlighted the fact that the first of the Iris-T systems could be delivered in October, instead of in November, as initially planned.

The Canadian Minister of Defense, Anita Anad, announced upon her arrival a $15 million aid to buy winter equipment for the Ukrainian Army, such as gloves, boots, parkas and jackets, “the products that Ukrainian soldiers need in the line of the front”.

Anad also announced an additional 15 million to purchase cameras for drones.

In addition, the Dutch Defense Minister, Kasja Ollongren, recalled that military training is an important part of the contribution that her country makes to Ukraine, and assured that it will provide more ammunition for rocket defense systems.

Source: EFE