More military aid will flow to Ukraine from the latest Ramstein meeting of its allies.

As part of the 12th meeting of the Ramstein Ukraine Defense Contact Group, where Ukraine’s allies coordinate their military support at monthly meetings at an airbase in Germany, a series of commitments was made, and senior officials reported on progress on the proposed “coalition of jets.”

According to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaking to the media yesterday, the Ramstein format has yielded $65 billion in military aid for Ukraine thus far.

“In total, the Contact Group has committed nearly $65 billion in security assistance,” Austin said at the beginning of the meeting.

“Putin was hoping that our resolve would fade. And he was betting that our unity would crack. Instead, we remain as united as ever,” he added.

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In terms of newly announced aid to Ukraine, the following was made public on the background of yesterday’s Ramstein round which Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov regularly attends:

·      Further $300 million military aid package from the US, including to increase Ukraine’s HIMARS capabilities;

·      Further $117 million military aid package from Finland;

·      Further $60 million military aid package from Lithuania;

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.   Further $28 million military aid package from Canada, including 43 AIMS missiles, and;

·      Pledge from Denmark and the Netherlands to coordinate Europe’s F-16 training of Ukrainian pilots;

·      Commitment by Spain to provide an additional four Leopard 2 tanks.

"Our support for Ukraine is an investment in our own resilience, deterrence and defense,” Lithuania’s Defense Minister said about his country’s latest contribution.

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“Only Ukraine's victory will help restore peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region,” he added.

 Additionally, Austin said the meeting discussed Ukraine’s ongoing need for better air defense, including the request by President Volodymyr Zelensky to build a “coalition of jets.”

“I want to especially thank Denmark and the Netherlands, who have decided to lead the European coalition to provide F-16 training for Ukrainian forces,” Austin said.

“In the coming weeks, my Danish and Dutch counterparts will work with the US and other allies to develop a framework for the exercise.”

He added that Norway, Belgium, Portugal and Poland have also offered to contribute to the training, and that it was expected that more countries will soon join this initiative.

Earlier, Austin expressed hope that the training of Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighters will begin in the coming weeks.

There was a report yesterday by Foreign Policy that the UK may have already commenced training, but this has not been confirmed.

Also yesterday, it was separately announced that the US has cleared the sale to Ukraine of an additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $285 million.

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NASAMS, which is already in use in Ukraine, is a short-to-medium range, ground-based air defense system that is currently in the arsenals of 15 countries worldwide. It is noted for being highly mobile and operationally flexible and used for the protection of air bases, seaports, populated areas and high-value military assets.

The weapon’s Norwegian manufacturer claims that “NASAMS has been protecting Washington DC 24/7 since 2005.”

According to the Kiel Institute’s Ukraine Support Tracker, countries who announced military support for Ukraine yesterday are placed as follows in comparative terms:

·      US                                     First in total; 10th in proportion of GDP terms.

·      Netherlands                     Fifth in total; sixth in GDP terms.

.   Canada.                            Sixth in total; 15th in GDP terms.

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·      Denmark                          12th in total; 12th in GDP terms.

·      Finland                             14th in total; 11th in GDP terms.

·      Spain                                16th in total; 26th in GDP terms.

·      Lithuania                          17th in total; fifth in GDP terms.

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