Controlling Ukrainian airspace hot topic at Ramstein format meetings – Pentagon chief

22 April, 03:55 PM
Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Heiko Becker)

Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Heiko Becker)

The main priority for Ukraine’s Ramstein format allies is the provision of air defense systems, especially ground-based systems, to protect Ukraine’s infrastructure, civilians, and military, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin emphasized said during a press conference.

Austin called on allies to provide Ukraine with ground-based air defense capabilities.

He also announced that American M1 Abrams tanks would arrive in Germany in a few weeks to train Ukrainian soldiers.

Controlling Ukraine’s airspace was a hot topic at yesterday’s Ramstein format meeting, with U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Mark Milley suggesting that a multilevel air defense system would be the most rapid and efficient means of achieving this objective.

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Milley explained that while discussions about transferring F-16 fighters to Ukraine have occurred, the training required for the aircraft is time-consuming. This explains the emphasis on ground-based air defense systems, though a decision on fighters may be made in the future.

Ukraine’s allies, including Germany and the Netherlands, agreed to supply mine-clearing vehicles, transport, and fuel tankers to Ukraine.

The Contact Group on Defense Issues of Ukraine, which includes over 50 allies of Ukraine, also pledged to deliver new air defense systems and their critically-needed ammunition. Over several months, Ramstein format participants have already transferred over 230 tanks, over 1550 units of armored vehicles, and other equipment and ammunition to support more than nine new armored brigades in Ukraine.

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