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Pentagon chief and Ukrainian Defense Minister hold closed-door meeting: Topics discussed

Pentagon chief and Ukrainian Defense Minister hold closed-door meeting: Topics discussed Austin and Umerov meet behind closed doors (
Author: Liliana Oleniak

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held bilateral closed-door talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov at the Pentagon, the Pentagon press service reports.

Before the closed-door talks, Austin reportedly publicly reaffirmed the United States' support for Ukraine.

"Ukraine has taken back more than half the territory grabbed by Russia since its unprovoked invasion began in February 2022. So we will stand with Ukraine for the long haul. I'm confident that our allies and partners will be there as well," the Pentagon chief says.

The U.S. defense department emphasized that the bilateral talks between the ministers built on conversations held last month in Kyiv and included Ukraine's strategic goals for the next year and a long-term vision for the future of the Armed Forces.

Austin also confirmed a new package of military assistance to Ukraine, which included additional ammunition, artillery, tank weapons, and small arms ammunition.

The Pentagon chief also highlighted the importance of the conference on strengthening Ukraine's defense industrial base, organized by the White House and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Defense.

"We discussed ways to strengthen partnerships among Ukraine and the U.S. defense industry," Austin says.

According to the minister, this underscores America's commitment to "a free and sovereign Ukraine — one that can defend itself today and deter further Russian aggression in the future."

Umerov thanked Austin for holding bilateral discussions and organizing the defense conference in Washington.

"We consider this conference ... a significant breakthrough in the development of our military/technical cooperation," Umerov said. "It's one of our key elements of increasing self-sufficiency in Ukraine," the Ukrainian Defense Minister emphasizes.

The United States announced a new military aid package for Ukraine

Yesterday, December 6, the United States announced a new military aid package for Ukraine. It includes weapons worth $175 million.

The package includes:

  • ammunition for air defense systems;
  • ammunition for HIMARS multiple-launch rocket systems;
  • artillery ammunition;
  • high-speed anti-radar missiles;
  • anti-tank missiles;
  • ammunition for small arms;
  • ammunition for the destruction of obstacles;
  • equipment for the protection of critical infrastructure;
  • auxiliary equipment.

At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken emphasizes that if Congress does not support new funding for the aid, "this will be one of the last security assistance packages we can provide to Ukraine."

"Helping Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression and secure its future advances our national security interests and contributes to global stability around the world, and we need Congress to act immediately," Blinken says.