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U.S., German Defense Leaders Discuss Shared Interests in NATO, Ukraine, Indo-Pacific

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III today hosted German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius at the Pentagon for a bilateral discussion on shared interests ranging from Ukraine to operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Austin commended Pistorius on Germany's commitment to providing support to Ukraine's self-defense, citing, among other things, the weapons systems Germany has supplied and the financial commitments it has made.

Two men stand together in front of a building. They are flanked by uniformed military personnel.  A sign notes that they are at the Department of Defense.
Pentagon Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stand for the playing of national anthems during an enhanced honor cordon and meeting at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 9, 2024.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 240509-D-XI929-1008

"After the United States, Germany is the second-largest donor of military assistance to Ukraine, as it resists Putin's aggression," Austin said. "You earmarked $7.7 billion for Ukraine in 2024 alone. Germany has donated critical air defense systems and artillery. And we will continue our close partnership to ensure that Ukraine has the capabilities that it needs to succeed on the battlefield." 

Germany has also taken in the largest number of Ukrainian refugees in Europe, Austin said.

"Thanks for everything that Germany is doing for Ukraine's self-defense," Austin said.

When it comes to greater Europe-wide commitments to security, Austin said Germany is also contributing greatly. 

"Germany's plan for a permanent brigade in Lithuania is a historic commitment that will strengthen European security," he said. "And we commend Germany for reaching our shared NATO commitment to spend at least 2% of your GDP on defense this year. Germany remains one of our strongest and most reliable allies."

The secretary also noted Germany's deployment of troops to support security and stability in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.

Two men sit across from each other at a table.
Pentagon Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during an enhanced honor cordon and meeting hosted at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 9, 2024.
Photo By: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 240509-D-XI929-1012

"Whether deterring the Kremlin's aggression, or bolstering stability in the Indo-Pacific, our two proud democracies are in lockstep," Austin said. 

Pistorius thanked Austin for American leadership in supporting Ukraine, and acknowledged that the U.S. and Germany have interests outside Europe as well — particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

"A free and peaceful Indo-Pacific is important to all of us, and we want to help promote peace and stability in that region," Pistorius said, adding that he looks forward to Germany's participation in the Rim of the Pacific exercise, which begins in June.  

The event, also known as Rimpac, is the world's largest maritime warfare exercise. "Germany is and remains a staunch ally of the United States," Pistorius said. "We both will continue to work closely as partners, as allies and as friends. This is more important than ever in this world, and I'm confident that we can achieve much together."

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