The conference will be chaired by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and is expected to be attended by officials from dozens of countries, according to the Polish defense ministry.
According to the airforcemag.com website, “stakeholders” from up to 40 nations will meet with Austin at Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany to discuss how to deliver extended and more lethal aid to Ukraine.
Tuesday's meeting is “not a NATO ministerial” but instead a gathering of those interested in providing aid to Ukraine in its resistance to Russia’s invasion, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told reporters last week, as quoted by airforcemag.com.
“One of the things that [Austin] wants” from the meeting is “the beginnings of a discussion with like-minded nations about long-term defense relationships that Ukraine will need going forward,” Kirby was quoted as saying.
“We obviously want to talk about what’s going on now. We certainly want to hear from … other nations about what they’re doing, in terms of immediate defense assistance, and how that might change,” he added.
As the fighting in Ukraine enters “a new phase, … I think he also wants to take a longer, larger view of the defense relationships that Ukraine will need to have going forward, when the war is over," Kirby also said, according to airforcemag.com.
The meeting follows pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the United States and other countries send heavier weapons and air defences to aid in battling Russia, airforcemag.com reported.
While in Germany for the conference, the Polish defence minister is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht on Tuesday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
Source: IAR, PAP, airforcemag.com