U.S. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin is leading a meeting of dozens of his counterparts from NATO member states and other parts of the world Wednesday to discuss their latest efforts to boost military aid to Ukraine in the face of the nearly four-month Russian invasion.
The talks are taking place on the sidelines of a NATO defense ministers meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters NATO defense ministers would meet late Wednesday with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and get an update on “what Ukraine urgently needs.”
Amid comments by Ukrainian officials that not enough military aid has come, and not quickly enough, Stoltenberg said such efforts take time but that NATO leaders realize the urgency and are working with Ukraine to overcome hurdles.
Stoltenberg also said he expects NATO allies will also make new announcements of support for Ukraine on Wednesday.
“The question is what do the Ukrainians need to continue the success they’ve already seen in slowing down and thwarting that Russian objective and that’ll be a major focus for the defense ministers,” a senior U.S. defense official said ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Tuesday that Ukraine “should have more heavy weapons.” He said Ukraine’s forces “absolutely depend on that to be able to stand up against the brutal Russian invasion.”
Smoke rises from the city of Severodonetsk during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops at the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas on June 14, 2022. Russian forces have been attacking the city for weeks.