Ukrainian, US defense chiefs discuss “priorities” for allies meeting Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov to discuss how to help Ukraine defend itself, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany January 20, 2023. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

(Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov discussed “priorities,” including air defense and artillery, for upcoming meetings of Kiev’s allies in Brussels, both sides said late on Saturday.

After securing the promise of a host of modern battle tanks, including the US M1 Abrams, Germany’s Leopard 2 and Britain’s Challenger 2, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other Kiev officials called on allies to send fighter jets.

Ukraine’s defense contact group will meet at NATO headquarters on Tuesday, following a January 20 conference at Ramstein Air Base in Germany that was key to decisions on sending tanks.

Austin and Reznikov discussed the importance of delivering the promised capabilities as quickly as possible, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

After the call, Reznikov tweeted that “the United States is unwavering in its support for Ukraine,” adding that the two also discussed the situation on the front lines.

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