Washington’s Secretary of Defense urges the international community to continue to support Kyiv’s struggle against Moscow’s tyranny, saying there has been no mismanagement of US military aid, weapons and equipment provided to Ukraine.

During his opening remarks at Tuesday’s 18th meeting of the Ukraine Ramstein Defense Contact Group, the US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, made it clear that the US Department of Defense (DoD) had detected no signs of misuse of the equipment and weapons supplied to Kyiv. He said: “The United States continues to work hard to monitor and account for US security assistance delivered to Ukraine.”

He continued: “We have seen no credible evidence of the misuse or illicit diversion of American equipment provided to Ukraine. What we do see is Ukraine using the capabilities that we've provided to defend itself against Russian aggression.”

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His remarks followed a Pentagon report, cited in the New York Times, that more than $1 billion worth of US-provided military hardware had not been properly tracked and raised concerns that they could be lost, stolen and diverted elsewhere. The DoD report was published as Congress was debating whether to send more military aid to Kyiv.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry announced in November that it was implementing a program of end-use reporting for all military equipment provided to Ukraine by international partners, including the US.

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On Jan. 20, Ukrainian and US officials conducted the first joint inspection of weapons and equipment provided by Washington with their findings of no misuse having informed Austin’s remarks.

Austin appeared at the meeting virtually from home where he is recuperating from recent prostate cancer surgery and thanked the around 50 representatives of allies and partners who have recently announced new long-term security packages for Ukraine and underlined that their continued support for Ukraine’s war effort was critical:

“We must continue to focus both on Ukraine’s immediate battlefield needs, and on helping Ukraine to strengthen, modernize, and sustain its defense forces for the long haul

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“The security of the entire international community is on the line in Ukraine’s fight,” Austin said. “I urge this group to dig deep to provide Ukraine with more lifesaving, ground-based air defense systems and interceptors.”

The US is out of funding to send to Ukraine. Until Congress approves additional aid, the responsibility to provide support to Ukraine will fall on the shoulders of other nations to bridge the gap. The White House has warned that if the US abandons Ukraine, other countries may follow.

“Our support for Ukraine’s struggle against tyranny makes all our countries more secure,” Austin said. “If we lose our nerve, if we flinch, if we fail to deter other would-be aggressors, we will only invite even more bloodshed and more chaos. So, a sovereign and secure Ukraine is critical to global security, and we must not waver in our support for Ukraine.”

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Comments ( 1)

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Ron w
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Omitted from the article is that this IS defense secretary is a deceiver. He pretended to be working from the home as he was ill and in the hospital and informed no one. How is that to be trusted for the main military head of USA. Biden should fire him, but Biden is a weak man, and still half asleep. We wait the return of Trump. He would have said , •you’re 🔥 fired!”

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