No question of ” to drop ” nor of “to run out of steam” : Lloyd Austin, the American Secretary of Defense, wanted to remobilize the 30 member countries of NATO and about twenty States invited during a meeting – the third – of the “contact group” on Ukraine, Wednesday 15 June, in Brussels. This mini-summit, held on the sidelines of a meeting of defense ministers which was to continue on Thursday, above all allowed the American delegation to confirm an announcement made a few hours earlier by the White House: Washington will release new aid of 1 billion dollars (960 million euros) in favor of Ukraine, of which a large part in heavy armament. In total, the United States will have, so far, allocated 5.6 billion dollars to kyiv.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Anna Maliar recently lamented that only 10% of the necessary weapons had been delivered to her country, and an adviser to President Volodomyr Zelensky claimed that the ratio of her army against Russian forces was 1 against 10 in terms of artillery. Present at Wednesday’s meeting, Oleksiy Reznikov, the Minister of Defense, insisted on the urgency of strengthening support for the Ukrainian army, faced with a massive Russian offensive in the Donbass basin.
An embarrassing situation for a Western camp which, since the invasion launched on February 24, wants to show its determination to help the attacked country at all costs. “I understand, I took part in a lot of fights and, when you fight a fight, you never get enough”, tried to temper, Wednesday evening, Mr. Austin. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, for his part, stressed the need to quickly equip the Ukrainian army with heavy armaments, anti-aircraft systems and long-range systems, but “Such efforts take time”he added, referring to issues of training, maintenance and upkeep of the equipment delivered.
An “imminent” delivery
According to the Norwegian official, the summit of the Atlantic Alliance, at the end of the month in Madrid, should, in any case, decide on a new massive aid plan for kyiv. President Zelensky was invited to participate in this meeting, which is also supposed to record the new “strategic concept” of the Alliance with, as a result, the reinforcement of its eastern flank, thanks to the prepositioning of equipment and additional forces. Combat groups will be developed, such as air and maritime presence and cyber defense capabilities.
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