Russia Ukraine conflict

Air defense assistance to Kyiv discussed between Ukrainian, US officials

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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov discussed “priorities,” including air defense 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 US M1 Abrams, German Leopard 2 and British Challenger 2, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other Kyiv officials have been urging allies to send fighter aircraft.

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The Ukraine Defense Contact Group will meet on Tuesday at the NATO headquarters, following upon a January 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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