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Pentagon highlights key Ramstein theme amid U.S. funding shortfall for Ukraine

Pentagon highlights key Ramstein theme amid U.S. funding shortfall for Ukraine Penagon named the theme of Ramstein
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The January 23 meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in the Ramstein format will focus on Ukraine's long-term needs, according to Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh.

"Even though we aren’t able to provide our security assistance right now, our partners are continuing to do that," Singh says.

The meeting will be virtual, as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is still recovering at home from complications of prostate cancer treatment.

The Pentagon announced its latest security assistance to Ukraine on December 27. The $250 million package included 155mm shells, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, and other items taken from existing U.S. stockpiles.

Since then, the United States has been unable to assist because the money to replenish these stockpiles has run out, and Congress has not yet approved additional funds.

More than $110 billion in aid to Ukraine and Israel has been halted due to disagreements between Congress and the White House over other policy priorities, including additional security on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Assistance from Ukraine's allies

The United States has provided over $44.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022. About $23.6 billion was taken from existing military stockpiles, and almost $19 billion in long-term military contracts for goods that will take months to deliver.

Thus, even though the funds have been exhausted, some previously purchased weapons will continue to arrive. An additional $1.7 billion was provided by the U.S. State Department in the form of foreign military financing.

The United States and about 30 international partners also continue to train Ukrainian forces and have trained a total of 118,000 Ukrainians to date at locations around the world, says Col. Marty O'Donnell, the U.S. Army's representative for Europe and Africa.

The United States has trained about 18,000 soldiers, including about 16,300 in Germany. Another 1,500 soldiers are currently undergoing training.

A new meeting in the Ramstein format will be held on January 23. This will be the 18th meeting of the military coalition to support Ukraine with representatives from about 50 countries.