Minister of Defence of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov addressed the Ukrainians. He noted that the events currently taking place are really historical and determine the future of our state. The events are implemented by our defenders, all citizens who have risen against the Russian invasion and help to defend Ukraine.

“We have already changed the world. I would like to share details with you about events that have taken place in recent days and about what lies ahead. On 26 April 2022, a meeting of representatives of the defence agencies of more than 40 countries took place at the Ramstein American Air Base in Germany. This included not only EU and NATO countries, but also representatives of countries from the Middle East, Africa, the Persian Gulf, and Asia-Pacific region,” the minister stressed.

This unprecedented event took place thanks to the leadership of our American partners and, in particular, of U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin III and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.

This is a genuine coalition, whose goal is not just to contain the Kremlin, but to defeat Russian tyranny, to secure an opportunity for the civilised world to win this war.

“We examined three sets of issues related to short-term operational decisions to help Ukraine resist Russian aggression, as well as a long-term vision of how to strengthen our defences in the face of strategic challenges,” Reznikov stated.

The minister highlighted the following outcomes of the meeting of representatives of defence agencies from more than 40 countries:

  1. The Advisory Group for the Defence of Ukraine, which will operate on an ongoing basis, and through which we will conduct monthly check-ins with partners, was set up. A permanent mechanism will allow for the optimisation and rapid implementation of important processes for obtaining weapons, improving logistics, and ensuring optimal coordination.
  2. For a long time, Ukraine has been convincing its partners that it is appropriate to provide Ukraine with Western-made weapons that meet NATO standards. The strategic decision on Ukraine’s shift to Western-caliber technology has finally been made. In particular, we already have received 155mm artillery. Gradually, this will ensure full interoperability of the Ukrainian military with the armed forces of NATO countries.

“I would also like to emphasise that our discussions did not focus exclusively on the supply of weapons and ammunition. We also held significant discussion about the production of weapons and military equipment, and Ukraine’s role in this sector. Indeed, the basis of long-term cooperation, interaction and interoperability not only concerns our armed forces, but also our defence industry overall,” the minister said.

  1. Our service members have been already trained to use Western weapons for some time. Now, the training programmes will be scaled up and extended to involve some models of weapons and equipment, though no political decisions on their supply to Ukraine have been made yet. When these decisions are made, we will be ready.

“At the same time, the practical implementation of agreements, training and logistics take some time. And Russia has already amassed forces for a large-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine. Assistance to Ukraine will grow, but we will need all our resilience and extraordinary unity in the coming days,” Reznikov summed up.

Natalia Tolub

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