Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III hosted over 40 countries at the Ukraine Defense Consultative Group at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
“We’re here to help Ukraine win the fight against Russia’s unjust invasion and build up Ukraine’s defenses for tomorrow’s challenges,” said Austin in a press conference following the meeting. “And countries all around the world have been stepping up to meet Ukraine’s urgent needs. We’re all determined to help Ukraine win today and build strength for tomorrow. The work that we’ve done together in record time has made a huge difference on the battlefield.”
Secretary Austin said that the group has made significant progress and applauded all the nations who are rising to meet this demand. Germany is sending Ukraine 50 cheetah anti-aircraft systems. The British government announced that it would provide Ukraine with additional anti-aircraft capabilities, and Canada announced that it would send Ukraine eight armored vehicles.
Secretary Austin noted that the coming weeks would be crucial for Ukraine, which necessitates that we move at the speed of war. “I know that all the leaders leave today more resolved than ever to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and atrocities. And I know that we’re all determined to do even more to better coordinate our efforts. So I was especially glad to hear General Walters encourage us all to make more determined use of EUCOM’s coordination mechanism.”
To continue building on the progress, Austin announced that this gathering would be a monthly contact group on Ukraine’s self-defense to “intensify our efforts, coordinate our assistance, and focus on winning today’s fight and the struggles to come.” The monthly meetings could be in-person, virtual, or hybrid.
“We’re going to build on today’s progress and continue to reach out to nations of goodwill to help Ukraine defend itself. And we’ll continue working transparently and urgently with our allies and partners,” said Austin. “We’ll continue pushing to support and strengthen the Ukrainian military for the battles ahead. So we leave tonight strengthened, and so does Ukraine.”
Austin emphasized that Russia is weaker in terms of military capability than when they started 62 days ago. It will be harder for them to regain this capability because of the sanctions and the trade restrictions placed on them. “We would like to make sure, again, that they don’t have the same type of capability to bully their neighbors that we saw at the outset of this conflict.”