US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held bilateral talks behind closed doors with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov at the Pentagon.
This was reported by the Pentagon press service.
Before the closed-door talks, 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.," the Pentagon chief said.
The US defense department emphasized that the bilateral talks between the ministers built on conversations held last month in Kyiv and included Ukraine's strategic goals for the next year and a long-term vision for the future of the Armed Forces.
Austin also confirmed a new package of military assistance to Ukraine, which includes additional ammunition, artillery, and tank weapons, as well as small arms ammunition.
The Pentagon chief also highlighted the importance of the conference on strengthening Ukraine's defense industrial base, organized by the White House and the US Departments of Commerce and Defense.
"We discussed ways to strengthen partnerships among Ukraine and the US defense industry," Austin said.-
According to the minister, this emphasizes America's commitment to "a free and sovereign Ukraine that can defend itself today and deter further Russian aggression in the future."
Umerov thanked Austin for holding bilateral discussions and organizing the defense conference in Washington.
"We consider this conference ... a significant breakthrough in the development of our military/technical cooperation. It's one of our key elements of increasing self-sufficiency in Ukraine," the Ukrainian Defense Minister emphasized.-
As a reminder, yesterday, December 6, the United States announced a new military aid package for Ukraine. It includes weapons worth $175 million.
Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 07/12/2023