US Defense Secretary Austin summarizes Ramstein meeting

20 January, 10:39 PM
Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

Lloyd Austin (Photo:REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)

Western security assistance to Ukraine is growing in pace and scope, with a focus on air defense and armored vehicles, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during a press briefing following the latest Ramstein meeting.

Defense ministers of Ukraine’s international partners gathered at the U.S. Air Force Ramstein base in Germany on Jan. 20, discussing the ongoing and future efforts to equip Kyiv’s troops with modern weapons.

Austin said the decisive moment in the war is approaching, and that Ukraine’s partners discussed the supply of more anti-air weapons and heavily armored vehicles.

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The secretary provided the following summary of the most salient armaments Ukraine will receive in near future:

·       Anti-air systems from France, Germany, and the UK – including a German Patriot air defense battery;

·       Patriot missiles and launchers from the Netherlands;

·       Canada purchasing NASAMS air defense system for Ukraine;

·       Challenger-2 main battle tanks from the UK;

·       CV90 infantry fighting vehicles and Archer howitzers from Sweden;

·       The entire fleet of Denmark’s CAESAR self-propelled howitzers – 19 units;

·       Helicopters and Stinger MANPADS from Latvia;

·       Military aid package from Estonia, including large quantities of 155mm artillery shells.

At the same time, Austin confirmed that Germany has not yet made a decision to provide Leopard tanks to Ukraine. He reminded that a number of countries are offering Ukraine tanks from their stockpiles, including Poland, which will provide Ukraine with tanks.

According to the British International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), Ukraine needs about 100 tanks for the offensive.

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