The results of the 8th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (Ramstein format) confirmed the determination of all participants to respond to the "decisive decade", as well as readiness for further actions.

“This is a decisive decade for the world, and this is a decisive moment for Ukraine's struggle to defend itself. So this Сontact Group will not slow down, we're going to continue to dig deep, and based upon the progress that we've made today, I'm confident that Ukraine's partners from around the globe are determined to meet this moment,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said following the meeting in Germany on Friday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

He underscored that the United States will continue to play a leading role in coordinating joint efforts to support Ukraine. In this context, Austin recalled that the day before, the United States allocated a $2.5 billion large-scale aid package.

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At the same time, the Pentagon chief mentioned the contributions of other countries announced before and during the meeting on Friday. In particular, according to him, France, Germany, and Great Britain allocated significant capabilities for strengthening Ukraine’s air defense in addition to the USA. The Netherlands announced the delivery of Patriot system missiles and pledged the readiness to train Ukrainian service members on these systems. Canada also contributed to strengthening Ukraine's air defenses by providing NASAMS systems and missiles for them.

EU Counterparts Warn Hungary Not to Neglect Ukraine Aid
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EU Counterparts Warn Hungary Not to Neglect Ukraine Aid

Hungary's Finance Minister presented his counterparts with Budapest's priorities during its time at the helm but maintaining the 27-nation bloc's support for Ukraine was noticeably not listed.

"These air defense systems will help save countless innocent lives," Austin said, recalling the recent tragedy in Dnipro city.

Regarding the supply of tanks to Ukraine, the U.S. Secretary of Defense emphasized that the relevant efforts are ongoing. In particular, he noted, Britain already announced the supply of modern Challenger tanks which was the first such contribution from Western countries.

At the same time, Austin confirmed that Germany has not yet made a decision on the transfer of German-made tanks to Ukraine. He also noted that Berlin does not associate the supply of Leopard tanks with the provision of U.S. Abrams tanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

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In this context, the U.S. Secretary of Defense emphasized that the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and other countries sent armored combat vehicles to Ukraine, including infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, and other vehicles. In addition, Sweden announced the transfer of its own CV90 IFVs, Latvia and Estonia will transfer additional howitzers, as well as other combat systems and ammunition.

“We're really focused on — is making sure that Ukraine has the capability that it needs to be successful right now. So we have a window of opportunity here between now and the spring,” Austin stressed, noting that the Armed Forces of Ukraine will make a decision on the start of the counteroffensive on their own.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense that this will happen soon and called on partners to pull together the right capabilities.

“These important new commitments demonstrate the ongoing resolve of our allies and partners to help Ukraine defend itself. Because this isn't just about Ukraine's security, it's also about European security. And it's about global security,” Austin summed up.

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As reported, on January 20, the 8th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group was held at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

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