From Kyiv, US Secretary of State Blinken announced $2 billion in aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries

New meeting of allies to coordinate arms and ammunition supplies to Ukraine

Representatives from more than 40 countries and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg were hosted by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for the fifth meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Liaison Group at the US base in Ramstein on Thursday. In particular, they must address the challenges posed by conflicts in arms production.

“The consumption of ammunition is very important in this war in Ukraine”, US Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley briefed accompanying reporters. is the objective “Try to determine the needs, the demands, and then compare this with the supply, whether it be the stock of nations or what can be produced by industry.” Security, he added, was on the plane bringing him back from Washington.

Artillery are decisive in conflict. Particularly hungry for all kinds of projectiles, the Ukrainian and Russian militaries are waging a war of disposal of ammunition, stocks of which are critical. Ukraine has been waging a counteroffensive in the south of its region since last week, and President Zelensky has said he wants to launch again. “All territories under Russian occupation”Including Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Ukraine has exhausted all its Russian-made weapons, and its security is now completely dependent on Western military aid. According to Washington, Russia, for its part, has turned to North Korea to buy large-scale rockets and artillery shells.

The United States, the main supplier of military aid to Ukraine, has already pledged $13.5 billion worth of various weapons, notably Javelin anti-tank missiles, artillery pieces and shells compatible with NATO artillery systems.

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Washington supplied Ukrainian forces with Himars precision artillery systems and GPS-guided rockets called GMLRS (Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System) with a range of more than 80 kilometers, widely used in the south and east of the country. kyiv wanted long-range weapons of the ATACMS type (military tactical missile system, M270 MLRS multiple rocket launcher and tactical ballistic missile designed for the M142 Himars system), which can strike at 300 kilometers, but the US refused. These missiles are aimed at targets on Russian territory, which could lead to an escalation of the conflict. “Current US policy is that we do not deploy ATACMS”General Milley recalled. “We had this conversation several times with my deputy and other Ukrainian officials. »

“We send Himars (…) Along with the GMLRS, these systems have proven to be very effective against Russian forces.he added. “We believe that the range of Himars is sufficient to meet the needs of the Ukrainians in the current conflict. »

The U.S. alone supplies three-quarters of the bombs to NATO standards, U.S. staff spokesman Col. Dave Butler underscored. “More than ten countries in the Contact Group are donating 155 millimeter caliber cannons, and fifteen are donating 155 millimeter ammunition”He pointed out.

All arms donations to Ukraine are calculated not to weaken the military capabilities of the donor countries, but ammunition stocks must be constantly replenished, so there is a need to revive the production of the defense sector, the spokesman explained. “US munitions supplies to Ukraine are not specifically linked to the annual production capacity of weapons given by the US Department of Defense, but production capacity is one of the factors considered”He finished.

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read more: “In Ukraine, as elsewhere, the combination of weapons and consequences makes the difference”

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