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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Remarks With German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius

GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER BORIS PISTORIUS (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): So there's an atrocious war of aggression going on caused by Russia in Ukraine. Now we talk about deterrence. It's important that we talk about the Indo-Pacific region today, about the German Indo-Pacific strategy. And on these topics, and that's very apparent in all those talks, the United States is our most important ally.

Putin's atrocious war of aggression waged in Ukraine has given me the opportunity to prove its worth to show what it is. It's a strong, viable alliance that has shown that it is able to act, and will be able to act in the future too, and that's why I'm very grateful, especially because this foundation that NATO has built on and the  alliance it's built on is a foundation that is oriented towards joint values, a shared strategy and common responsibility and action.

And as it happens so often throughout history and in those times, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America stands side-by-side as they are progressing forwards. For example, when it comes to delivering infantry fighting vehicles and multiple weapon launchers and air defense, German systems have proven their worth in Ukraine... [inaudible] or the highly modern air defense system IRIS-T SLM. And together, and I can tell you that in the future, we will work together with our partners and support Ukraine in its fight against — fight for freedom and territorial integrity and sovereignty, and I'm looking forward to excellent cooperation with Secretary, dear Lloyd, tomorrow, and we will get together in Ramstein, and I'll see you there again, and then you will be our host there. Thank you.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD J. AUSTIN III: Good morning, everybody. Minister Pistorius, Thanks for hosting me today. I know that I'm your first visitor since you've taken office, but since you've only been in office for an hour that's a — 


— it's not surprising. But nonetheless, thanks for hosting us, and congratulations on your appointment as minister. I very much look forward to working together with you, and it's great to be back in Germany. I've got a lot of fond memories of your country from my first assignment here as a young officer, and Germany remains one of our most important allies.

Now, I wanted to express my deep sorrow over the tragic helicopter crash near Kyiv yesterday that took the lives of more than a dozen people, including Ukraine's interior minister, Denys Monastyrskyy.

It's been a turbulent time for European and global security, but throughout the crisis caused by Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Germany has remained a true friend of the United States and a staunch  defender of our allies and values. So we'll continue to support Ukraine and a people as they resist Russian aggression and defend their sovereign territory.

I'd like to thank the German government for all that it's done to strengthen Ukraine's self defense. Your contributions of security assistance and training for Ukraine's defenders have been invaluable. I also appreciate your strong support for our increased presence, and for logistical operations to quickly move soldiers and equipment to and through Germany to reinforce our eastern flank allies.

Tomorrow at Ramstein, and we'll join our allies and partners at the year's first meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, and we'll renew our united commitment to support Ukraine's self defense for the long haul.

So at our meeting today, we'll discuss some of the issues that we'll tackle tomorrow at the contact group together with our friends, and we'll also discuss other key issues for NATO and for our bilateral defense relationship and ways that we can do even more together.

So Mr. Minister, thanks again for the warm welcome, and I look forward to a great discussion today and to working very closely with you. So it's great — again, great to be back in Germany. Thank you very much.

MIN. PISTORIUS: Thank you very much.