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Austin talks with Ukraine’s Defense Minister to make sure needed assistance is flowing

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke by phone May 9 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.

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.

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.

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.

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