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Ramstein meeting at NATO Headquarters: Agenda and expectations

Ramstein meeting at NATO Headquarters: Agenda and expectations Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov at Ramstein (
Author: Maria Kholina

Today, on October 11, Brussels will host a meeting in the Ramstein format. The 16th meeting of the military coalition in support of Ukraine will bring together representatives from nearly 50 countries, with a new participant joining the U.S. delegation.

RBC-Ukraine has compiled all the information available about Ramstein-16.

In preparing this material, information from the Pentagon press service, the program of the NATO Defense Ministers' meeting, publications from Reuters, Radio Free Europe, Voice of America, U.S. Mission to NATO, and the German Ministry of Defense on the X social media platform (Twitter) were used.

Brussels hosts Ramstein-16 and Ukraine-NATO Council

Last week, the Pentagon announced the next meeting of the Contact Group on Defense Matters for Ukraine on October 11, 2023.

The venue for this meeting was announced to be the capital of Belgium, specifically the NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The "Ramstein" talks will commence at 11:00 Kyiv time, and they will be opened by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

On the same day, at 17:00, the Ukraine-NATO Council meeting is scheduled as part of the meeting of defense ministers of NATO countries.

These will be the first talks at the level of defense department leaders of NATO countries since the summer summit in Vilnius, and for the first time, Ukraine's Minister of Defense, Rustem Umierov, will join the allies as a full participant in the meeting.


The 16th Ramstein format meeting will be attended by defense ministers and military chiefs from nearly 50 allied nations of Ukraine.

The head of the meeting from the very first gathering in April 2022, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, remains in charge – he is the initiator of the Contact Group's formation.

The U.S. delegation also includes the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For the first time at the Ramstein negotiations in this capacity, General Charles Brown will be present. He has succeeded Mark Milley, who retired at the end of September.

The Ukrainian delegation at the meeting will be led by Minister of Defense Rustem Umerov.

Agenda and expectations

The upcoming negotiations will focus on discussing the situation on the battlefield and the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their counteroffensive.

According to the Pentagon statement, the agenda for the 16th meeting of the defense coalition will include "the current situation in Ukraine and international support for providing the Ukrainian people with the means necessary to defend their sovereign territory."

It is expected that the U.S. will announce a new package of military support at this meeting. According to Voice of America, its value may be around $200 million, including ammunition for HIMARS, missiles for air defense, 105mm and 155mm artillery shells, TOW anti-tank missiles, and more.

Julian Smith, the head of the U.S. Mission to NATO, stated that the Contact Group will focus on issues related to the provision of ammunition and air defense systems.

She said that Ukraine's air defense is of vital importance, especially with the arrival of cold weather, when Russian forces may again target critical infrastructure. Smith also mentioned that it would be challenging to predict the outcome of the meeting because partners may announce real-time assistance to Ukraine.

A day before the talks, it was revealed that Germany is preparing a winter package of military assistance for Ukraine worth a total of 1 billion euros to protect critical infrastructure. This package includes the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, IRIS-T SLM, IRIS-T SLS, and three Gepard installations.

The issue of fighter jets for Ukraine is another recurring topic of discussion at Ramstein. Prior to the meeting, it was reported that Denmark is working on expanding and deepening the F-16 coalition.

Results of the previous Meeting

Following Ramstein-15 in Germany on September 19, partners announced new aid packages:

  • Denmark pledged to provide 30 Leopard 1 tanks and 15 T-72 tanks to Ukraine.
  • The United Kingdom committed to transferring tens of thousands of artillery shells to Ukraine by the end of 2024.
  • Germany announced a new aid package, including 200 MRAP armored vehicles and ammunition for mortars and artillery.
  • The United States reported the rapid arrival of Abrams tanks on the battlefield (the first batch of these tanks was already in Ukraine) and the mobilization of efforts to provide Ukraine with air defense systems and equipment for interception.

Ramstein-15 marked the debut of Ukraine's new Minister of Defense, Rustem Umerov. Following the meeting, Umierov announced that the partners had agreed to establish a Capabilities Coalition, aiming to shape the future defense forces of Ukraine.

The coalition's attention will primarily focus on five clusters: air defense, artillery, aviation, naval forces, and armored vehicles. Additionally, one of the areas of work will be IT, to create a unified digital ecosystem for combat management and defense resource management for the Armed Forces.

According to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the new coalition will be led by Estonia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Poland. The main tasks include providing Leopard tanks, training pilots on F-16s, information technology, and cybersecurity.