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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov during the 20th Ramstein-format meeting in Germany on March 19, 2024. (Rustem Umerov/Facebook)
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Kyiv presented its key allies a war plan for 2024 as more military assistance have been announced during the 20th Ramstein-format meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Ukraine's Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said on March 19.

The meeting came at a precarious time for Ukraine and its allies, as Russia ramps up pressure along the front and $60 billion in aid from the U.S., a key military donor, remains stalled by disputes in Congress.

Ammunition, which is in critical shortage for the Ukrainian military, was the main topic of the meeting, according to Umerov.

Some countries pledged to send aid packages to Kyiv, which include 155 mm, 152 mm, 105 mm artillery shells, etc., the defense minister wrote on Facebook.  Germany's new military assistance for Ukraine worth $540 million will include 10,000 artillery rounds.

Belgium unveils $445 million defense aid packages for Ukraine
Belgium has announced defense aid packages for Ukraine worth 412 million euros ($445 million), including 300 Iveco Lynx light tactical vehicles, the Shephard News reported on March 18.

Umerov also announced that Ukraine will get more missiles for air defense systems to protect Ukrainian cities and soldiers at the front from regular Russian attacks.

The Washington Post reported on March 15 that based on assessments by Western officials, munitions for some of Ukraine's air defense systems may be nearly used up by the end of March.

The Ukrainian delegation held a separate meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the U.S. Joint Chiefs head Charles Brown. They discussed Ukraine's plan for 2024, the building of fortifications, strengthening of Ukraine's air defense, and the provision of electronic warfare equipment.


"Long-range weapons became a separate topic of discussion," Umerov said, as Ukraine seeks for more such systems to cut Russian logistics on occupied territories.

Speaking at the meeting in Germany, Austin said he was “fully determined to keep U.S. security assistance and ammunition flowing.”

A handful of countries joined the Latvia-led drone coalition with their first contributions, Umerov said.

"The coalition's first results will be drone deliveries to Ukraine in March. We are also discussing the possibility of investments in the Ukrainian production of those UAVs that have already proven their effectiveness on the battlefield," the minister reported.

Kyiv is also working with the Netherlands, Denmark, U.S. and other nations to ensure that F-16 fighter jets will be delivered to Ukraine "as soon as possible," Umerov added.

In nearly two years, the Ramstein-format meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group has raised nearly $88 billion in military aid for Ukraine, Austin said.

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