ISSN 2330-717X

Austin To Host Second Ukraine Contact Group Meeting Monday

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By Jim Garamone

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will host a second meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group on Monday, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said Friday. 

The group is composed of nations dedicated to aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russian invaders. Austin first convened the group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany last month. 

Before the virtual meeting, Austin will speak with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, “to discuss Ukraine’s military requirements,” Kirby said. The secretary will also discuss the latest tranche of security assistance the United States will send to Ukraine. President Joe Biden authorized an additional $100 million to provide Ukraine’s armed forces with additional capabilities as they continue the fight in the eastern part of the country.  

“The contact group meeting will include over 40 countries,” Kirby said. These are all countries that provide security assistance to Ukraine and they will discuss what Ukraine will need in the future.  

At the meeting, Minister Reznikov will give a battlefield update and discuss what Ukraine will need moving forward. The members of the contact group will discuss “how they can best fill those capabilities,” Kirby said.  

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The number of countries in the contact group is fluid. There were more than 40 countries at Ramstein and Kirby said more than 40 nations have responded for Monday’s meeting with more expected. “There are some countries that have shown an interest in participating that weren’t in the first meeting,” he said. “But there’s not a cap on (the contact group). We would love to have as many … countries participate as possible.” 

The countries range the world, the press secretary said. At the first meeting, “you had countries from the Middle East, and countries from the Indo-Pacific,” he said. “It wasn’t just Europe, and it certainly wasn’t just NATO. There was a true global community there of countries that were interested in what’s going on in Ukraine. And more than that, as the Secretary said very eloquently, you wouldn’t have been there if you didn’t care about Ukraine and care about helping Ukraine.” 

At Ramstein, every member of the contact group came with ideas and ways to help Ukraine. “The secretary said he wants to have one (meeting) every month,” Kirby said. 

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