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Austin is leading discussions on providing military support to Ukraine.

Austin is leading discussions on providing military support to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be holding a virtual meeting with allies to address the topic of providing assistance to Ukraine, as the two-year mark of Russia’s complete invasion approaches.

Austin addressed the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on Wednesday, emphasizing that remaining neutral in the country’s ongoing battle for survival is not acceptable. He stated that Ukraine will continue to fight and so will the United States, speaking to the group remotely from his residence in Washington.

Austin’s original intention was to go to Brussels for a meeting with the group, but he ended up staying in the US because of another hospitalization for nonsurgical treatments. He was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday.

“I am currently in good health and my cancer prognosis remains positive,” he stated to the group, expressing regret for not being able to attend in person.

The UDCG unites representatives from over 50 countries to collaborate on their efforts in Ukraine. However, there is uncertainty surrounding when the U.S., the primary source of military aid for Ukraine, will resume its assistance.

When questioned about the message Defense Secretary Austin will convey during the talks, Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh stated that the U.S. will support Ukraine for however long it takes, but congressional approval is necessary to continue providing aid packages.

The United States has ceased providing military assistance to Ukraine since the end of December due to the depletion of funding.

On Monday evening, the Senate approved a financial assistance plan worth $95 billion, with over $60 billion designated for Ukraine. However, the bill is expected to meet resistance in the House of Representatives, which is led by Republicans.

Ukrainian authorities have requested additional weapons to strengthen the nation’s air defense in response to ongoing Russian attacks using drones and missiles on Ukrainian cities.

The NATO defense ministers will convene in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reported on Wednesday that the allies are still providing significant amounts of weapons, equipment, and ammunition.

He stated that this assistance has had a significant impact. Thanks to our aid, the courageous people of Ukraine have successfully reclaimed half of the territory that was taken by Russia. They have also established a passage in the Black Sea and are causing significant casualties to Russian troops.

This report was contributed to by Jeff Seldin of VOA.