Ukraine’s def min arrives at key Ramstein meeting, meets Pentagon chief

21.04.2023, 10:24
Ukraine’s def min arrives at key Ramstein meeting, meets Pentagon chief - Photo
A Ukraine defence contact group meeting. Photo via EPA

The Ukraine defence contact group meeting in Germany started on Friday, with Kyiv expecting progress on providing Western fighter jets and air defence systems.

The defence ministers of Ukraine’s allies gather for the eleventh time at Ramstein Air Force Base.

The first meeting in the Ramstein format took place almost a year ago, on 26 April 2022, with representatives of defence ministries from more than 40 countries, including all NATO members, participating.

The Friday meeting will be chaired by US secretary of defence Austin.

It is expected to focus on strengthening Ukraine's air defence system, including combat aircraft. Ukraine has long called on its Western allies to provide it with F-16 fighter jets, as they have a number of advantages over other types of platforms and will help the Ukrainian Armed Forces gain an advantage in the air.

Mr Reznikov said before the start of the meeting that Ukraine's priorities remain unchanged, and the most important of them is the need for modern combat aircraft.

"Given the barbaric tactics of the Kremlin, we need NATO-style fighters," he said.

Ukraine’s defence chief added that it needs armoured vehicles, 155 mm artillery shells, electronic warfare equipment, drones, and anti-drone weapons.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he expected the Ramstein meeting to make "solid decisions" that would meet the ambitious prospects of Ukraine’s forces on the battlefield.

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