Israel takes part in talks on arming Ukraine, for the first time

Defense Ministry official participates in meeting held at U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany, hosted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, with 40 nations including all NATO member states
Itamar Eichner, Reuters|
Israel openly takes part in the international defense conference on Tuesday taking place in Germany, discussing the arming of the Ukrainians amid the war.
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  • The talks, hosting more than 40 NATO member countries, were being held by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in the American Ramstein Air Base in southwestern Germany.
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    דיון על הגנה לאוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    דיון על הגנה לאוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    Dror Shalom, head of political-security division of the Defense Ministr
    Israel's representative in the conference is Dror Shalom, head of political-security division of the Defense Ministry.
    Last week was Israel's first statement of militarily standing behind Ukraine, as it provided vests and helmets to the Ukrainian rescue forces and civilian organizations, still steering clear of direct aid to the battling country's army.
    At the beginning of the conference, secretary Austin said nations from around the world stand united and resolved to support Ukraine in its fight against "Russia's imperial aggression."
    "Ukraine clearly believes that it can win, and so does everyone here," Austin said.
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    דיון על חימוש אוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    דיון על חימוש אוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    Defense conference in the American Ramstein Air Base, Germany
    Britain promised to provide the Ukrainians with military vehicles and is considering providing Poland with tanks so that more could be passed over to Ukraine. Germany also announced on Tuesday that it intends to provide Ukraine with anti-aircraft tanks.
    On Monday, Austin visited President Zelensky along with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Zelensky had previously listed the weapons Ukraine is in need of, including an anti-missile defense systems, armed vehicles, and tanks.
    The U.S. representatives pledged to grant Ukraine $713 million of additional military aid, including more advanced weaponry. This extension brings the sum of U.S. funds towards Ukraine's war efforts since the invasion up to $3.7 billion.
    In a notable shift, Germany, where the government had come under pressure after refusing Ukrainian pleas for heavy weapons, announced it would now send "Gepard" light tanks with anti-aircraft guns.
    "The real significance of this decision lies not in the difference Gepards may make on the battlefield, but in the signal it sends," said Marcel Dirsus, non-resident fellow at Kiel University's Institute for Security Policy.
    Amongst other central the international players that attended the conference, Japan and Australia expressed concern regarding the consequences the Russian victory could have on China's ventures to take over territories sees as controversial in their sovereignty.
    Sweden and Finland, which plan to request to become members of NATO within the next month, also attended the defense conference in Germany.
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    דיון על חימוש אוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    דיון על חימוש אוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    defense conference in Germany
    During the talks, U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautioned that Ukraine needed more security assistance to help it defend against an unfolding and potentially decisive Russian onslaught in the east. He said the coming weeks were "critical."
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    דיון על חימוש אוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    דיון על חימוש אוקראינה במלחמה מול רוסיה
    American representatives at the defense conference in Germany
    "Time is not on Ukraine's side," Milley said during closed-door remarks provided to reporters traveling with him. "The outcome of this battle, right here, today, is dependent on the people in this room."
    Milley added: "The Ukrainians will fight. We need to make sure they have the means to fight."
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