The West Promised Ukraine More Than 1.5 Billion Euros in Military Aid

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The announcement was made at a conference of defense ministers from 26 countries in Copenhagen WASHINGTON - Western countries at a donors' conference pledged more than 1.5 billion euros in cash, equipment and training to boost Ukraine's defense capabilities in its fight against Russia. The money was pledged by 26 countries at a conference of defense ministers in Copenhagen, Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov told reporters. "All the countries that came to Copenhagen came with the intention of supporting Ukraine," Bodskov said at the end of the one-day meeting. The money will be used to supply weapons, missiles and ammunition, increase weapons production for Ukraine, train Ukrainian soldiers and de-mine war-torn territories in Ukraine. Defense ministers from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic have expressed willingness to expand production of artillery systems, ammunition and other military equipment for Ukraine, Bodskov said. In a joint statement, the countries pledged to provide constant and sustained military support to Ukraine and agreed to hold a virtual meeting in September. Britain committed an additional 300 million euros, including for multiple-launch rocket systems and M31A1 high-precision missiles that can hit targets up to 80 kilometers away. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that these donations are proof that the current situation is the opposite of what Russian President Vladimir Putin had hoped for - that Western countries "would get tired of the conflict and that the international community would go in different directions." According to Wallace, the Russian invasion of Ukraine "started to collapse in many areas." Ukraine has repeatedly asked the West to send it more weaponry, including long-range artillery, while Moscow has accused Western countries of dragging out the conflict through sending additional weapons to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky asked Western allies for more money and weapons to keep fighting Russia five and a half months after the invasion began. "The sooner we stop Russia, the sooner we will feel safe," Zelensky said, speaking by video link to Western military leaders in Copenhagen. "We need weapons and shells for our defense. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told reporters that getting additional fighter jets is a priority for the country at the moment. "At the first stage, we need fighters. After that, we need demining," Reznikov said. The Copenhagen conference was preceded by an April meeting at a U.S. airbase in Germany that created the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group to coordinate international military assistance to Ukraine. Norwegian Defense Minister Bjorn Arild Gram said the West's resolve to help Ukraine is not fading. "There remains very strong support for aid to Ukraine, including in the long term," he said. Голос Америки