The members of the Contact Group on Defense of Ukraine are united and determined to continue supporting Ukraine and believe in the success of Ukrainian forces during the spring offensive.
According to Austin, the Contact Group partners see that Russia is moving new troops to the battlefield in anticipation of the spring offensive. And they are working hard to ensure that Ukraine has potential in armored vehicles.
He recalled that at the beginning of February, the USA announced another military aid to Ukraine, particularly the allocation of HIMARS systems and ammunition, anti-tank shells. In addition, they allocated $1.75 billion to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities, Austin noted.
The US Secretary of Defense also announced that the members of the Contact Group decided to allocate:
- Bradley and Abrams – from the USA;
- Challenger tanks – from Great Britain;
- modernized tanks – from the USA, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic;
- T-72 tanks – from Poland.
The aid also includes important steps from Canada, Germany, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal regarding Leopard tanks.
“We heard today about the allocation of serious air defense equipment. France and Italy will jointly transfer an air defense system to Ukraine. France also announced cooperation with Australia to produce 155-caliber ammunition,” Austin said.
He noted that the priority for him and his colleagues is to ensure that Western supplies of weapons to Ukraine are used as intended and that there are “measures to prevent the proliferation of weapons.” The head of the Pentagon assured that the members of the Contact Group are united and determined to continue the necessary work to guarantee the security of Ukraine.