Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, gives a press conference at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on June 15, 2022. OLIVIER MATTHYS / AP
No question of “give up” or “discontinue”: Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, wanted to remobilize the thirty member countries of NATO and some twenty invited states at a meeting – the third – of the “Contact Group” on Ukraine, Wednesday, April 15. June, in Brussels This mini-summit, held on the sidelines of a meeting of defense ministers that was due to continue on Thursday, enabled the American delegation to confirm an announcement made a few hours earlier by the White House: Washington will receive new aid $1 billion (€960 million) in favor of Ukraine, much of it for heavy armaments.To date, the United States has allotted $5.6 billion to Kyiv.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar recently lamented that only 10% of the necessary weapons had been delivered to her country, and an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that her army’s ratio to Russian forces in terms of artillery was 1 to 10 . Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who was present at Wednesday’s meeting, stressed the urgency of increased support for the Ukrainian army in the face of a massive Russian offensive in the Donbass Basin.
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An embarrassing situation for a western camp that, since the February 24 invasion, has wanted to show its determination to help the invaded country at all costs. “I understand I’ve been in a lot of fights and when you fight one fight you never get enough,” Mr Austin tried to mitigate on Wednesday night. For his part, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed the need to quickly equip the Ukrainian army with heavy armament, anti-aircraft systems and long-range systems, but “such efforts take time,” added -il, citing issues of training , servicing and maintenance of the delivered equipment.
An “upcoming” delivery
According to the Norwegian official, the Atlantic Alliance summit in Madrid later this month should definitely decide on a new massive aid plan for Kyiv. President Zelensky was invited to attend this meeting, which is also expected to discuss the Alliance’s new “strategic concept” with the consequent strengthening of its eastern flank thanks to the provision of additional equipment and forces. Combat groups will be developed, such as air and sea presence and cyber defense capabilities.
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