Meeting at Pentagon. Ukrainian Defense Minister listed five steps to improve defense capabilities

Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umyerov reported on the results of his visit to the Pentagon, where he met with the head of the US Department of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and listed five discussed steps and solutions to increase the state's defense capability.

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The Ukrainian Defense Minister called the meeting with Austin "warm and productive."

According to the minister, "concrete steps and decisions that will significantly affect Ukraine's defense capability" were discussed.

1. Strategic goals and plan of operations for Ukraine in 2024.

"Among the things we can talk about now are the localization of production in Ukraine, the needs and capabilities of our countries, opportunities for the development of cooperation, investments, and the construction of joint ventures," the minister said.

2. A defense industry development conference.

"Representatives of more than 350 Ukrainian and American industries have gathered in Washington. Ukraine's weapons, equipment, and technologies are matters of national interest," Umyerov said.

3. Strengthening anti-aircraft defense, which is especially important in the winter period.

4. Construction of fortifications.

"I informed Secretary Austin that the Ministry of Defense is engaged in strengthening fortifications along the front line in accordance with the needs and priorities of the army," Umyerov noted.

5. NATO.

"This is a separate priority for us in 2024. Our goal is to bring the Defense Forces in line with the principles and standards of the Alliance," the head of the defense department emphasized.

On December 6, the United States announced a new $175 million aid package to Ukraine. The package includes AIM-9M and AIM-7 air defense missiles, HIMARS ammunition, 155-mm artillery shells, and more.

Despite Biden's call to Congress yesterday to approve additional funding for Ukraine, the Senate did not support ending debate on the bill; 49 Republicans, one independent senator, and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer voted against it.