Brussels, 12 October 2022 (TDI): The Secretary of Defense of the United States (US), Lloyd J. Austin III traveled to Brussels for NATO Defense Ministerial and Ukraine Defense Contact Group Meetings.

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark A. Milley, also joined Secretary Austin.
This is the 6th Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting since it was formed in April 2022. The purpose of the meeting is to provide support to Ukraine against Russian aggression.

In this regard, more than 50 NATO allies met to promise more weapon support to Ukraine. The need for a more advanced air defense system was highlighted in the backdrop of recent Russian missile strikes.

As providing Ukrainian people with means to defend their territory is necessary. The aim could be achieved through close coordination and cooperation between allies.

Also read: NATO Secretary General previews Defense Ministerial Meeting

Remarks by the Secretary of Defense

At the sixth meeting of UDCG, the Secretary of Defense reaffirmed the commitment of NATO allies to help Ukraine. Opening the meeting at NATO’s headquarters, he termed Russia’s missile attacks this week as, “malice and cruelty of Putin’s war of choice.”

These attacks have killed innocent civilians and destroyed the country’s infrastructure but united the allies furthermore to support Ukraine.

As he mentioned this resolve, “we gather again today to support Ukraine’s inalienable right to defend itself. And our resolve and steadiness of purpose have only been strengthened.”

Ukraine has shifted its momentum in this conflict with “extraordinary” gains since September. “These victories belong to Ukraine’s brave soldiers.

But the Contact Group’s security assistance, training, and sustainment efforts have been vital,” Austin said. The contact group is together due to a shared determination to reinforce common security in the region.

Also read: Georgia condemns Russia for annexing Ukraine territories 

While concluding, Secretary Austin highlighted the importance of close coordination and cooperation that has spurred progress on the battlefield.

“This Contact Group, and a galvanized world, will support Ukraine’s self-defense for the long haul,” he added.