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News   Defense News

Austin Consults Ukraine's Defense Minister to Ensure Needed Assistance Is Flowing

May 9, 2022 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone today with the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov to discuss Ukraine's evolving battlefield needs, said Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby, who held a press briefing today. 

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Austin mentioned to Reznikov President Joe Biden's announcement Friday of an additional $150 million in presidential drawdown authority to continue to provide Ukraine's armed forces with items that include artillery, counter-artillery radars and electronic jamming equipment, Kirby said. 

The defense minister said he was grateful for this additional support, Kirby added. 

Austin emphasized America's enduring commitment to bolster Ukraine's capacity to counter Russian aggression and updated the minister on ongoing coordination with allies and partners on security assistance efforts, Kirby said.  

A map shows various cities in Ukraine and surrounding countries.
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Ukraine map.
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The secretary also mentioned that the Defense Department continues to help coordinate the provision of security assistance materials from many other allies and partners, Kirby said.  

Both pledged to remain in close contact, he said.  

Austin also spoke today by phone with Greek Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, regarding the situation in Ukraine, Kirby said.  

A tank travels down a dirt road.
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Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division conduct a platoon situational training exercise at Bucierz Range, Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, May 4, 2022.
Photo By: U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Hedil Hernández
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In addition to thanking Greece for its security assistance and contributions to Ukraine, Austin also discussed with Panagiotopoulos the importance of continued allied and partner assistance. They agreed to continue to closely collaborate on these issues, and meet in Washington sometime later this year, Kirby said. 

They also reviewed the deepening defense partnership between the United States and Greece resulting from the updated U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement.