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Defense ministers discuss tank deliveries at Ukraine Contact Group meeting in Ramstein | DW News

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Defense ministers and senior military officers from around the world are weighing how best to support Ukraine, with the provision of powerful battle tanks high on the agenda, in talks at a US air base in western Germany on Friday.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin invited the members of the Ukraine Contact Group to the conference at Ramstein, the largest US air base outside the United States, and urged them to "dig deeper" into their stocks to supply Ukraine with the weapons it needs to repel Russia's invasion. Attendees include Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Resnikov and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as well as the new German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.

Representatives from states that are not members of NATO are also present, as they were in the past two meetings at Ramstein. Pressure is mounting on Germany to send its Leopard 2 battle tanks to help Ukraine fight off the Russian invasion and to allow its allies to do so as well. Berlin has so far refused to act unilaterally, insisting that it can only do so in concert with its allies, though domestically and abroad calls are growing louder to provide more modern and heavier weapons to Ukraine. However, as the meeting at Ramstein began, a German government spokesman said that the delivery of Leopard tanks for Ukraine was never tied to the United States taking a similar step with their Abrams tanks.

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