Biden Announces Largest Weapons Shipment to Ukraine: $1 Billion in War Support | International

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The Secretary of Defense of the United States, Lloyd Austin, at the end of his appearance before the press.Olivier Matthys (AP)

No one knows how long the war in Ukraine will last, but Ukraine’s Western allies seem willing to send it arms, training and humanitarian aid to keep its war effort going for as long as it can sustain it. “We will keep it that way for as long as it takes,” said the United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, when asked about the commitment to Ukraine at the end of the meeting he held in Brussels with the defense ministers of NATO, plus the rest of the countries that support Ukraine, including Ecuador. Shortly before, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, announced a shipment of war material to the invaded country worth 1,000 million dollars (960 million euros), the largest to date.

From the meeting this Wednesday afternoon, Austin has come out with two clear messages: the first is that the NATO countries, plus those that have joined them, have sent many weapons to Ukraine so that it can defend itself from the invasion Russian; the second, that they are willing to continue doing so and even increase this aid with increasingly sophisticated material. Austin has taken up the announcement made by Biden and has added what he has heard at the meeting, such as Germany’s commitment to send three multiple launch rocket systems and guided ammunition, something that his branch minister, Christine, has ratified on Twitter. Lambrecht. The American has also cited Slovakia’s announcement to send helicopters or new shipments of artillery from Poland, the Netherlands and Canada.

These shipments will add to those that have been made so far, of which both Austin and General Mark A. Miller, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, have given quite a few details. The latter, for example, has highlighted that the international community has delivered almost 97,000 anti-tank systems to Ukraine, “more than there are tanks in the world.” “They asked for 200 tanks. They are 237″, he has added him. He has also pointed out that his country has sent 6,500 Javelin rockets, 1,500 Stinger, another 20,000 anti-armor systems… the enumeration has been extensive. And to it we must add the numbers of Ukrainian soldiers trained to use weapons such as drones.

Despite all this enumeration, Austin, who has also been a military man and was one of Miller’s predecessors, has been sympathetic to Ukraine’s constant demand for more military equipment: “General Miller and I have been in various fights. And when you’re in a fight, you never get tired. You always want more. You always think you need more. And I have been there. And so I understand where the Ukrainians come from. And we will fight hard to give them everything they need. And again, we want to make sure we’re focused on what they think they need for this current fight and beyond.”

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The international community has done a good job of delivering these capabilities, but it is never enough. So we’re going to continue to work hard to move as much capacity as we can, as fast as we can, and to ensure Ukraine succeeds on the battlefield.”

This meeting was held taking advantage of the fact that this Wednesday and Thursday the NATO defense ministers will meet for the last time before the Madrid summit, in which the new strategic concept of the Alliance for the coming years will be decided and in which, probably, the admission applications from Sweden and Finland will have a great role. So far, both requests collide with the resistance of Turkey, which demands that Sweden changes its anti-terrorist policy. To overcome this resistance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is in continuous contact with all the countries of the organization, especially with Turkey. In fact, this Wednesday he had a telephone conversation with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as he himself announced on Twitter.

As to whether the situation will have been overcome before arriving in Madrid on June 28, Stoltenberg stated before the meeting began that he is seeking to resolve it “as soon as possible, so that Sweden and Finland are members of the Alliance.” “I can not say when”, he has clarified.

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