Since the beginning of the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukraine Defense Contact Group states have provided military aid to Kiev for $55 billion, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said during a Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base.
“In total, the members of this Contact Group have provided more than $55 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. That's a tenfold increase since our first meeting,” Mr. Austin said (quote from the Pentagon website).
The Minister specified that just in the past few months, NATO provided the equipment and training to support an additional nine armored brigades for Ukraine. Mr. Austin added that the countries continue to coordinate through the Contact Group on providing Ukraine with Leopard tanks. He said that this Contact Group has already provided key air-defense systems, including Patriot systems from the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, SAMP/T from Italy and France, and NASAMS from Canada and Norway.
Mr. Austin also announced that at today’s Contact Group meeting, April 21, the focus would be on three key areas: air defense, ammunition, and enablers for Ukraine.
Today, a regular Ukraine Defense Contact Group to be held at Ramstein Air Base. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted that at the meeting in Ramstein, NATO countries would discuss, in particular, supply of various aircraft to Ukraine. On the eve of the meeting, he said that all NATO members agreed that Ukraine should become its member.
On April 13, the EU Council approved the transfer of 1 billion euros from the European Peace Fund (EPF) to provide Ukraine with ammunition. The total amount of the EPF military aid to Kiev reached €4.6 billion. On April 19, the United States announced the 36th package of military aid to Ukraine with a total value of $325 million. It included the HIMARS MLRS shells, artillery shells and anti-tank weapons.