Defense Secretary promises to do everything necessary to get Kiev what it needs
The US will move “Heaven and Earth” to supply Ukraine with what it says it needs to fight Russia, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. The announcement came on Tuesday at a 40-country meeting aimed at getting Washington’s allies on board the mission to prop up Kiev’s defenses.
Summoned by the US at its German airbase Ramstein, the meeting’s official purpose was “to help Ukraine win the fight against Russia’s unjust invasion and to build up Ukraine’s defenses for tomorrow’s challenges,” in Austin’s words. “Ukraine believes it can win, and everyone else here agrees.,” he continued, speaking for the many US-allied nations present.
While Washington, as the top-dollar donor to Kiev, will “Move heaven and Earth so that you can reach your goals” the needs of the Ukrainian government, Austin made it clear other countries would be expected to pony up.
Germany had tried to cite scarcity by claiming that its army did not have enough weapons to supply the Ukraine with surplus. However, Defense Minister Christine Lamprecht revealed that Berlin will send it used Gepard antiaircraft tanks to Ukraine and buy new equipment made in Germany to ship directly to the Ukrainian military.
“Germany orders Ukraine and Germany pays,” she pledged.
France will supply Caesar cannons with a range up to 40km. The UK supplies Starstreak missiles as well as tanks. US military has increased heavy weapons delivery to Kiev. They have supplied howitzers, armored vehicles, and other heavy weapons.
Austin insisted that the nations present help more. “Ukraine requires our support to win today, and will continue to need our assistance after the war ends.,” he said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed his country needs $7 billion per month to compensate for “Economic losses” allegedly caused by the Russian offensive. In response to increasing financial demands, he has requested $50 billion in G7 aid. This year, the US alone has sent more than $3 billion in military assistance.
Ukraine requests $50 billion from G7
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French- and German-brokered protocols were intended to provide special status for the Ukrainian states that breakaway areas.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.