In advance of the next monthly ‘Ramstein meeting’ of Ukraine’s allies, the Ukrainian Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, has called for the establishing of new aircraft logistical “hubs” both inside and outside of Ukraine and the ‘aircraft coalition’ to be placed on the top of the agenda.
“During the meeting, we will discuss the details of the ‘aircraft coalition’,” Reznikov said on Telegram.
“The opening of various types of hubs for repairing and equipping equipment is an important issue for us. Both on the territory of Ukraine, together with partners, and in friendly border countries,” he said.
Reznikov also commented on the much-mooted training of Ukrainian pilots by Ukraine’s western allies, primarily on F-16 fighter jets.
“We are talking so far about the training of pilots and not only pilots, but also our technicians and engineers who will be engaged in aircraft maintenance,” Reznikov said.
“It is a very complex system. Subject matters will be discussed with the teams of the defense ministries of the Netherlands, Denmark, the USA and other countries that have joined this coalition,” he said.
Currently, while nearly ten nations have committed to training pilots and other personnel as part of the ‘aircraft coalition’, no ally of Ukraine has yet pledged aircraft beyond the Soviet-era MiG-29s previously committed to by Poland, Slovakia and Northern Macedonia.
According to Ukrainian military officials, no pilot has yet to undertake training in western Europe after allies’ promises began to be made in mid-May.
Reznikov said the Ramstein meeting also needed to focus on air defenses for Ukraine and the critical issue of their sustainability.
“Everything related to air defense, ammunition shells, artillery [is on the table],” Reznikov said.
“Our priorities have not changed. This war is a war of resources. Resources means not only weapons, but also the ability to repair and maintain them and everything related to this,” he added.
Reznikov announced that he has added senior Ukrainian air force commanders to Ukraine’s delegation to Ramstein.
The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, known by everyone as the Ramstein group, is an alliance of 54 countries, all 31 NATO members and 23 other nations, that support and coordinate military aid to Ukraine in response to the full-scale Russian invasion. It was formed in April 2022 and meets roughly every month. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, June 15, at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
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