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Ramstein-5: What NATO promises and what weapons Ukraine needs

NATO will discuss support for Ukraine ahead of winter 2022. Photo: Getty Images

NATO will discuss support for Ukraine ahead of winter 2022. Photo: Getty Images

On Thursday, September 8, a new meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group will be held. For the second time, there will be an offline meeting (at the Ramstein air base in Germany) of the leaders and allies of NATO concerning Ukraine, who are convening for the fifth time since the full-scale invasion.

The meeting will be hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and will also be attended by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, as the Alliance website reports.

The war is entering a critical phase, says NATO Secretary General

According to the NATO Secretary General, the war in Ukraine is entering a critical phase since the coming winter will complicate both combat operations and the energy situation in Europe.

In his column written for the Financial Times on the eve of the Ramstein-5 meeting in Germany, Stoltenberg warns that the unity and solidarity of the allies will be seriously tested because of the European energy crisis.

Quote"We face a difficult six months, with the threat of energy cuts, disruptions, and perhaps even civil unrest. But we must stay the course and stand up to tyranny — for Ukraine’s sake and for ours." he emphasized.

Russia can attack NATO countries

Jens Stoltenberg pointed out that support for Ukraine comes at a price, but it’s paid in dollars and euros, while the Ukrainians are paying with their lives.

Quote"All of us will pay a much higher price if Russia and other authoritarian regimes believe they can invade their neighbors and trample on international law with impunity," he warned.

Stoltenberg added that helping Ukraine also benefits global security because, emboldened by any success, Russia could further attack other neighbors, including NATO countries.

He mentioned that NATO was preparing more than a dozen new projects to help Ukraine face the winter.

Quote"And we will continue to help the country strengthen its defense and security sector for the longer term, and transition from Soviet-era weapons to Nato-standard capabilities," the Secretary General affirmed.

What weapons Ukraine needs

It is still unknown what weapons can be approved at the Ramstein-5 meeting, but military analysts consider that Ukraine will need the following equipment to continue its counteroffensive and defend its territories:

  • Air defense systems to protect Odesa, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, and other cities from frequent missile attacks;
  • UAVs for further remote warfare;
  • Multiple-launch rocket systems with a longer firing range than the existing HIMARS systems (over 48 miles);
  • Gun and rocket artillery;
  • Large stocks of munitions.

The HIMARS helped erode the Russians’ artillery advantage, because Russia doesn’t have a good automated logistical system, said Rob Lee of the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute earlier. At the same time, he pointed out that these systems alone won’t help Ukraine retake territories.

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