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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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    US defense chief: visit with Ukraine will center on enhancing Kyiv’s air defense

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    The 11th meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group will focus on strengthening Kyiv’s air defense in light of Russia’s ongoing missile and drone assaults, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday.

    At the contact group’s initial meeting at the US Ramstein Air Force Base in southwest Germany, Austin stated that “Ukraine urgently needs our assistance to protect its citizens, infrastructure, and forces from Russia’s missile threat.”

    Members of the contact group, including Patriot missiles, have given Ukraine “key air defense systems,” he claimed.

    “Members of this contact group have given Ukraine security aid totaling more than $55 billion. Since we initially met, that number has increased tenfold, Austin stated.

    “More than a year later, Ukraine is still standing strong, and our support has not wavered,” he continued.

    Defense ministers and senior military figures from other nations are slated to discuss more support for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia at the summit.

    The largest air base outside of the US hosted the conference that Austin invited members of the contact group to.

    Representatives from non-NATO member states joined in on the discussions, much like at the three prior gatherings in Ramstein.

    In February of last year, as Russia began its conflict with the neighboring Ukraine, the US and European nations put unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.

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