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Ramstein-18 today: Details about new gathering of Ukraine's allies

Ramstein-18 today: Details about new gathering of Ukraine's allies Ministers of Defense of Ukraine and the United States, Rustem Umerov and Lloyd Austin (photo:

Today, on January 23, a new session in the Ramstein format is scheduled to take place. This marks the 18th meeting of the military coalition in support of Ukraine, with representatives from approximately 50 countries participating.

What is known about Ramstein-18 and what preceded it.

In preparing this material, information was sourced from press releases of the Pentagon, the Ministry of Defense of Estonia, articles from The Wall Street Journal, ERR, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov, and representatives of the White House.

Sources also include Reuters, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America, U.S. Mission to NATO announcements, and the German Ministry of Defense on social media platform X (Twitter).

What is known about Ramstein-18

The Pentagon announced a new meeting of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine on the eve. In particular, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov, and following the discussions, he announced that the next Ramstein meeting with allies would be held on January 23.

Austin reiterated once again that the United States and the international coalition of approximately 50 countries remain committed to supporting Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression.

As reported on the Pentagon's website, the session will take place in an online format.

Moreover, Austin, who chairs the meeting, will participate in Ramstein after his hospitalization. This became one of the reasons why this session will be held in a virtual mode. It is known that the head of the Pentagon was discharged from the hospital two weeks after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. This was reported by RBC-Ukraine in an article.

What preceded this

Ukraine-NATO Council

The new Ramstein meeting was preceded by a session of the Ukraine-NATO Council, which took place for the first time at the level of military leadership. Although the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi did not participate, Ukraine was represented at the event by its military representative to NATO, Major General Serhii Salkutsan. He provided insights into the situation on the battlefield, informed about the urgent needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and called for an increase in military supplies, including air defense systems and missile complexes.

Estonia proposes a support mechanism for Ukraine at Ramstein

As reported by Bloomberg, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas called on Ukraine's allies to allocate a quarter of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product, a key economic development indicator) annually to Ukraine. In her opinion, member countries of the Ramstein group should annually allocate the equivalent of 0.25% of their GDP to Ukraine, which would attract at least 120 billion euros and help turn the situation in favor of Ukraine.

Furthermore, Estonia pledged to assist Ukraine equivalent to 0.25% of its GDP over four years.

Additionally, the Estonian-language outlet ERR reported that the Estonian Ministry of Defense has prepared a document intended for all participating countries in the Ramstein working group. The document outlines a three-year strategic plan for Western countries to help Ukraine win the war.

When was the previous Ramstein

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

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. Additionally, a coalition for the development of air defense systems was formed, led by Germany and France.

Situation with the help from the U.S.

In September 2023, the White House turned to the U.S. Congress with a request to approve an additional funding package of $106 billion, including over $61 billion for Ukraine, as well as expenses for assistance to Israel, Taiwan, and border protection.

However, the issue of protecting the southern border of the United States became a stumbling block between Democrats and Republicans in Congress, hindering the approval of the White House's additional funding request.

While Republicans insist on strengthening requirements for arrivals to stop migration, even by violating U.S. humanitarian obligations, Democrats advocate for a comprehensive review of the migration system as a whole.

Representatives of both parties are trying to reach a compromise through negotiations, but so far, without results.

Concerns about running out of funds for assistance to Ukrainians have been raised in the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden since early December 2023. On December 27, it became known about the latest military aid package from the U.S. amounting to $250 million.

Following this, Biden announced that U.S. assistance to Ukraine is suspended until Congress approves new funding. However, recently, President Biden invited Congressional leaders to the White House to discuss assistance to Ukraine and border security.

Subsequently, The Wall Street Journal learned that Biden may make concessions to Republicans, allowing him to avoid criticism in immigration matters and achieve approval of aid for Ukraine.