Ukraine's Defense Ministry releases details of Umerov-Austin meeting
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin holds bilateral discussions with Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov at the Pentagon
Later, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry shared the details of the meeting between Austin and Umerov.
They said that the ministers discussed Ukraine's strategic goals and operations plan for 2024, the development of joint defense cooperation, and attracting investment in the defense industry.
"We had an open, honest dialogue between the Ukrainian and American governments and companies about localization of production in Ukraine, current needs and capabilities of our countries, opportunities for cooperation, investment and construction of joint ventures," Umerov said.
In addition, Umerov and Austin discussed the intensification of the construction of fortifications and the strengthening of Ukrainian air defense, which is especially important during the winter.
Umerov emphasized the need to increase Ukraine's arms and equipment manufacturing capabilities and thanked his colleague for his leadership in organizing the US - Ukraine Defense Industries Development Conference, which was attended by more than 350 manufacturers from both countries.
The Pentagon press service reported on the meeting.
Before the closed-door discussions began, Austin publicly reaffirmed the United States' support for Ukraine.
“Ukraine has taken back more than half the territory grabbed by Russia since its unprovoked invasion began in February 2022. So we will stand with Ukraine for the long haul. I'm confident that our allies and partners will be there as well,” Austin said.
According to the Pentagon, the bilateral discussion built on conversations that took place last month in Kyiv and included Ukraine's strategic goals for the next year and long-term planning.
Austin also announced the 52nd withdrawal of weapons and equipment from US stockpiles.
According to him, the package contains additional ammunition, artillery and tank weapons, and small arms ammunition.
- On December 5, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, and the head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Yermak arrived in the United States. There they met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson.
- On December 6, the Biden administration announced a new USD 175 million military aid package for Ukraine.