US Says 20 Countries Offer New Arms For Ukraine
About 20 countries offered new packages of security assistance to Ukraine to counter invading Russian forces during a meeting of allies on Monday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced.
During the second meeting, nearly forty countries and organizations forming the Ukraine Defense Liaison Group met online to discuss helping Ukraine, and 20 countries pledged to provide weapons, ammunition and other supplies. other supplies to support Kyiv.
The group was briefed by Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov about the current situation of the three-month war, in which the two sides are fighting along a long front in the territory already occupied by Russia in the east. east and south of Ukraine.
“Today, together with Minister Reznikov and his team, we better understood and shared Ukraine’s priority requirements and the situation on the battlefield,” Austin said.
“Many countries are funding desperately needed artillery shells, coastal defense systems and tanks and other armored vehicles,” he said.
Others, he added, are providing training to the Ukrainian military.
He said that Denmark is committed to sending a Harpoon anti-ship missile system, and the Czech Republic is providing attack helicopters, tanks and missile systems.
Harpoons are cruise missiles that can glide across the sea to target ships as far as 187 miles (300 km), depending on the type.
Usually Harpoons are mounted on ships or aircraft, but Denmark is the only country to have land-based systems for coastal protection.
Denmark’s navy will add an extra layer of protection to Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa, which is believed to be threatened by Russian aggression from the sea.
They can also reach the port of Sevastopol, where some of Russia’s Black Sea fleets are based.
– Long range missile –
Austin would not provide details on what is included in a new $40 billion US aid package for Ukraine, amid speculation it could include high-precision, long-range missiles that could used to attack Russian territory.
Ukraine has asked the United States for mobile batteries of long-range missiles, the M270 MLRS and the M142 Himars.
They can launch multiple missiles at once with a range of up to 187 miles, eight times or more the distance of artillery in the field.
That could give Ukrainian forces the ability to reach, with high precision, targets far behind Russian lines.
It may also allow them to strike well against targets inside Russia, although it is unclear if that was their intention.
Since the first meeting of the arms funding team at the US base in Germany four weeks ago, Austin said, “the drive to donate and deliver has been outstanding.”
He said Ukraine’s needs have not changed much from the previous meeting and that the fighting continues to be fueled by artillery, supported by tanks, drones and other equipment.
“The war was really shaped by artillery during this period, and we’ve seen serious artillery exchanges over the past few weeks,” Austin said.
“Everybody here understands the stakes of this war and they stretch well beyond Europe,” he added.
“Russia’s aggression is an irritant to the rules-based international order.”
Austin said the Ukraine Defense Liaison Group will meet in person on June 15 during a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels.
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