Ukraine’s allies meet again to coordinate arms deliveries


Kyiv’s allies are meeting in Germany on Thursday to continue to coordinate their military aid to Ukraine, which has been leading a counter-offensive in the south of the country since last week to dislodge Russian forces.

This fifth meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, which is being held at the invitation of US Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin at the US base in Ramstein, in the west of the country, is intended to show « the unity and solidarity » of Ukraine’s allies, said US Chief of Staff General Mark Milley.

Representatives of more than 40 countries and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet there to discuss, in particular, the challenges that the conflict poses in terms of armament production.

“Ammunition consumption is very important in this war in Ukraine,” General Milley explained to the journalists accompanying him.

The objective is « to try to determine the needs, the demands and then to compare this with the supply, whether it is the stocks of the countries or what can be produced by the defense industry », he said. he added on the plane that brought him from Washington.

Artillery is decisive in the conflict. Particularly greedy in projectiles of all kinds, the Ukrainian and Russian armies engage in a war of attrition of ammunition, the stocks of which are crucial.

Ukraine has been waging a counter-offensive in the south of its territory since last week, and President Zelensky has repeatedly stated that he wants to take back “all the regions under Russian occupation”, including Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014 .

He reported on Wednesday evening « good news from the Kharkiv region », referring to « localities where the Ukrainian flag has returned ».

Ukraine has exhausted all of its Russian-made weaponry and its defense is now totally dependent on Western military aid.

For its part, Russia has turned to North Korea to buy large quantities of rockets and artillery shells, according to Washington.

No long range

The United States, the first supplier of military aid to Ukraine, has already promised to provide 13.5 billion dollars of various armaments, in particular Javelin anti-tank missiles, artillery pieces and shells compatible with NATO artillery systems.

Washington also gave the Ukrainian forces Himars precision artillery systems and their GPS-guided rockets called GMLERS, with a range of more than 80 km, which are widely used in the south and east of the country.

Kyiv would like longer range weapons of the ATACMS type, which can strike at 300 km, but the United States refuses, fearing that these missiles will target targets in Russian territory, which could cause a widening of the conflict.

“Current US policy is that we do not send ATACMS,” General Milley recalled. “We had this conversation several times with my counterpart and other Ukrainian officials.”

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

The United States alone supplies three-quarters of the shells to NATO standards, underlined the spokesman for the American staff, Colonel Dave Butler.

« More than 10 contact group countries provide 155mm caliber artillery pieces, and 15 countries donate 155mm ammunition, » he said.

All arms donations to Ukraine are calculated so as not to weaken the military capabilities of the donor countries, but ammunition stocks must be able to be replenished regularly, hence the need to revitalize the production of the defense industry, explained the spokesperson.

« U.S. ammunition supplies to Ukraine are not tied specifically to the annual production capabilities of a given armament by the U.S. defense industry, but that production capability is one of the factors considered, » he said. he concluded.


Back to top button