Ukraine, U.S. defence heads talk “priorities” for allies’ meeting By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin meets with Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov to discuss how to help Ukraine defend itself, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, January 20, 2023. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

(Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov discussed “priorities”, including air defence and artillery, for upcoming meetings of Kyiv’s allies in Brussels, both sides said late on Saturday.

After securing a promise of scores of modern battle tanks, including the U.S. M1 Abrams, German Leopard 2 and British Challenger 2, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other Kyiv officials have been urging allies to send fighter aircraft.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group will meet on Tuesday at the NATO headquarters, following upon a Jan. 20 conference at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany that was key for the decisions to send tanks.

Austin and Reznikov discussed the importance of delivering promised capabilities as quickly as possible, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, said in a statement.

After the call, Reznikov tweeted that “the United States is unwavering in its support of Ukraine,” adding that the two also discussed the situation on the front line.

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