“Ukraine is convinced that it can win. And all of us who are here, too”. These are the words of Austin Lloyd III, US Secretary of Defense and host of a meeting at the US military base in Ramstein (Germany) in which the Ukraine Security Consultative Group has been set up, a contact group that will meet every month to analyze the crisis. The 43 members are the 30 NATO countries, plus US allies in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe.
Lloyd Austin has stated: “We are here to help Ukraine win the war against Russia’s unjust invasion and to build Ukraine’s defenses for tomorrow’s challenges.” The Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, have just been in kyiv with the Ukrainian president, Volodímir Zelenski. “That visit only increased my sense of urgency, an urgency that I know we all share,” said Lloyd Austin: “So I would like this group to walk away today with a common and transparent understanding of the short-term security needs of Ukraine, because we are going to continue moving heaven and earth to fulfill them”.
The US Secretary of Defense has referred to the announcements of new arms shipments to Ukraine: “As Minister Christine Lambrecht announced today, Germany will send Ukraine some 50 Cheetah anti-aircraft systems. And yesterday, the British government announced that it will also provide Ukraine with significant anti-aircraft capabilities.”
In addition, the head of the US Army has announced that “today’s meeting will become a monthly contact group on the defense of Ukraine. The contact group will be a vehicle for nations to step up their efforts, coordinate aid and focus on winning today’s war and the battles to come.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who has been embraced by his American counterpart, declared: “A momentous meeting at the Ramstein base. The true friends of Ukraine who are with us have come together to support us in the battle for freedom and democracy. I am grateful to the Secretary of Defense for his leadership.”
“Ukraine needs our help to win today”, the US Secretary of Defense has said: “And it will continue to need our help when the war is over”.