US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Expresses Concern for Ukraine's Survival Amid War with Russia

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.19 - 2024 10:07 PM CET

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Photo: photowalking / Shutterstock.com
Photo: photowalking / Shutterstock.com
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Expresses Concern for Ukraine's Survival Amid War with Russia.

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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has voiced his concerns regarding Ukraine's ability to withstand the ongoing conflict with Russia, emphasizing the existential threat faced by the country. Speaking on Tuesday afternoon during a visit to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Austin highlighted the precarious situation of Ukraine's survival. This is reported by Reuters.

"Ukraine's survival is in jeopardy," Austin stated, underscoring the critical need for increased support from the United States and its allies. Despite efforts to bolster Ukraine, Austin pointed out the challenges in securing a comprehensive aid package through Congress. A proposed $60 billion aid package for Ukraine remains stalled, with Republican House Majority Leader Mike Johnson refusing to bring it to a vote.

During a meeting at Ramstein Air Base, attended by approximately 50 allies to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the urgency for additional support was palpable. Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen, among the attendees, echoed the sentiment, noting the heightened awareness of Ukraine's need for assistance.

"The moment of destiny is very clear at this meeting. The seriousness in the room is that now we have to make an even greater effort, and it's a different atmosphere than I have experienced at the other meetings I have attended here at Ramstein over the last year," Poulsen remarked.

Officials speaking to Reuters highlighted the tangible impact of the lack of support on the ground in Ukraine, where Ukrainian soldiers face limited resources. "I believe that our allies - and even more so the Ukrainians - are extremely aware of the situation with our support, due to the lack (of weapons and equipment) associated with our inability to deliver supplies," a US military official told Reuters.

In response to the dire situation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has issued an appeal to the country's allies for equipment to bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities. Earlier in March, the US government announced it would send $300 million in military aid to Ukraine independently of the stalled larger aid package, utilizing savings from military contracts.

This visit marks Lloyd Austin's first international trip since undergoing treatment for prostate cancer in December and January, highlighting the significance of the discussions and the international effort to support Ukraine amidst its conflict with Russia.

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