Ukraine defence contact group to meet next week, discuss fighter jets
Defence chiefs of Ukraine’s allies will gather next week in Brussels to discuss further support to Kyiv, Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told a briefing Thursday.
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US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen. Milley "will host an in-person meeting of the Ukraine defence contact group on 15 June, followed by the NATO defence ministers meeting on 16 June," Mr Ryder said.
When asked what will be discussed at the meeting, more commonly known in Ukraine as the ‘Ramstein meeting’, the Pentagon spokesman said he expected it would be related to providing Ukraine with fighter jets and training.
"And so we should have more details in a relatively near future in terms of when, where, how. But at this time nothing new to provide."
Separately, Oleksii Kopytko, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence chief, said he hoped the upcoming ‘Ramstein’ meeting would bring out more details of the so-called fighter jet coalition.
Ukraine has long been asking for modern fighter jets, claiming that its current Soviet-era aircraft are not capable of countering offensives of Russian forces and are too old to be combat-effective.
Last month, US president Joe Biden officially confirmed the US would start training Ukrainian pilots for the F-16.
Ukraine earlier signalled hopes to receive forty to fifty aircraft, the first ones preferably in the autumn.