Ukraine war is ‘a marathon and not a sprint’, Pentagon chief says
Allies must prepare Ukraine so that it can meet the future challenges posed by Russia’s full-scale invasion, US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said on Thursday.
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Speaking before the Ukraine defence contact group meeting in Brussels, the Pentagon chief stressed that Russia’s president was wrong to believe he "could easily prevail" in Ukraine.
"Ukrainian won the battle of Kyiv, they liberated Kharkiv and Kherson. And today, Ukraine still stands well-positioned for the challenges ahead," he noted.
"Ukraine’s fight is a marathon and not a sprint. So we will continue to provide Ukraine with the urgent capabilities that it needs to meet this moment, as well as what it needs to keep itself secure for the long term from Russian aggression.
"And make no mistake: We will stand with Ukraine for the long haul."
According to Mr Austin, Ukraine’s allies will discuss the critical capabilities Kyiv needs to repel Russian aggression, including air defence systems and artillery ammunition.
In addition, the Ukraine defence contact group will be updated on the training of Ukrainian pilots, an initiative spearheaded by Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as efforts to supply Kyiv with F-16 fighter jets and Leopard tanks.