Lloyd Austin Praises NATO Allies for Commitment to Ukraine

With additional American aid still in doubt, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III on Tuesday called for “creative, adaptable and sustainable ways” to continue arming Ukraine and praised European allies who were trying to bolster Kyiv’s military as the war against Russia entered a critical stretch.

Mr. Austin, in Germany for the start of a semiregular meeting of nearly 50 nations who are supplying Ukraine’s forces, said that allies would “dig deeper to get vital security assistance to Ukraine.” He singled out Denmark, France, Germany and Sweden for recent donations of weapons and noted the Czech Republic’s efforts to provide 800,000 artillery shells — the first tranche of which could arrive on the battlefield within weeks.

Germany’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius, said Berlin would send Ukraine 10,000 rounds of badly needed artillery shells, 100 armored infantry vehicles and transport equipment in a new infusion of support worth 500 million euros, about $544 million.

“Things are progressing sometimes in small steps, sometimes in larger steps, but the main thing is the constant supply of ammunition,” Mr. Pistorius told journalists in Germany, according to local news reports.

The United States remains the single largest donor of military support to Ukraine, and last week, Washington pledged an additional $300 million of air defense missiles, artillery rounds and armor systems. The latest package also included attack missiles with a range of about 100 miles that dispense clusters of small munitions and can do damage over a wide area, though they are still at least a week from arriving.

Yet Ukrainian forces are expected to burn through the new American aid within a few weeks, and it is unlikely that the Biden administration will be able to send much more unless Republicans in Congress agree to a $60 billion emergency spending plan to ship additional weapons to Ukraine and bolster armament production in the United States.

Back to top button