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Pentagon head urges allies to 'not waver' in aid for Ukraine

Pentagon head urges allies to 'not waver' in aid for Ukraine Photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (Getty Images)

Another meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine in the Ramstein format, the 18th in the count, started today, January 23. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin delivered a speech during the online event, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Secretary of Defense called on Ramstein participants to provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine with "more lifesaving ground-based air-defense systems and interceptors."

"Putin continues to sacrifice staggering numbers of Russian troops in his rash and reckless war of choice. And Putin hopes that missiles and drones will demoralize the Ukrainian people, and break the fighting spirit of the Ukrainian military," his statement said.

Speaking of allied countries supporting Ukraine, Austin emphasized: "And we must not waver in our support for Ukraine."


It was previously reported that a new meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine was announced the day before at the Pentagon. In particular, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov and, following the talks, announced that the next Ramstein would be held on January 23.

Austin reiterated that the U.S. and the international coalition of approximately 50 countries remain committed to supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

Previous Ramsteins

The previous meeting took place on November 22, 2023. The notable aspect of the 17th Ramstein was the first-time participation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhnyi. He briefed Western allies on the situation on the frontline and also expressed gratitude for the assistance to Ukraine.

Additionally, during Ramstein-17, partner countries announced new packages of military aid for Ukraine. These included ammunition, missiles, electronic warfare systems, drones, and new capabilities for air defense. At the same time, a coalition for the development of air defense was formed, led by Germany and France.