A meeting of the Rammstein-3 Defense Contact Group of Ukraine has started at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The initiator of the meeting, the head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin, said in his introductory speech that Ukraine is now “at a significant moment on the battlefield.“
“Today, thanks to our unwavering commitment, we are here to provide Ukraine with an opportunity that must immediately defend itself. I am grateful for all the help that has already been provided in this group, but we cannot stop, and we cannot lose pace. The stakes are too high. Ukraine is currently at the forefront of the battlefield. We see what President Zelensky warned us about. After the failure to capture Kyiv and set new military targets, Russia shifted its focus to Donbas. And we cannot underestimate the challenge facing Ukraine” – Austin said.
The Rammstein-3 meeting brought together defense ministers from more than 55 countries, as well as representatives of NATO and the EU.
He added that Russia was using long-range weapons to “crush Ukrainian positions and continue to indiscriminately bomb Ukrainian sovereign territory, recklessly destroying the Ukrainian civilian population.”
“Therefore, we must step up our efforts to support Ukrainian self-defense and demand more from ourselves to make sure that Ukraine can protect itself, its citizens and its territory. But do not make mistakes. Russia’s unjustified aggression is not only a threat to Ukraine but to the whole security in Europe,” – the Pentagon chief said.
This is the third meeting between the heads of the Ministry of Defense and the chiefs of staff from more than 50 countries to discuss Ukraine’s support in the war with Russia. The topics and goals of the Rammstein talks are the urgent needs of Ukraine, which are necessary to counter Russian aggression.
Defense ministers from more than 50 countries will take part in the two-day Ramstein-3 meeting. They will discuss increasing arms supplies to Ukraine, as well as Sweden’s and Finland’s applications to join the transatlantic military alliance. The United States, for its part, is expected to reaffirm further support for Ukraine as long as necessary.
What is known
- On April 26, a meeting of defense ministers of 40 countries took place at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to coordinate military assistance to Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia. As a result, it was agreed to establish a permanent Contact Group in support of Ukraine, which will meet every month.
- According to then-White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, more than 30 countries have agreed to provide more than $5 billion in military assistance to Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia.
- Following the second meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense on May 23, about 20 countries agreed to provide additional security assistance to Ukraine. In particular, Denmark has agreed to transfer Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Ukraine to protect its shores, and the Czech Republic – fire support helicopters, tanks, and missile systems.