US, allies will support Ukraine for ‘as long as it takes’: Austin
Riga, Aug 10 (EFE).- United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Wednesday the US and Nato would continue to support Ukraine and provide military aid in its fight against Russia for “as long as it takes”.
“We are committed to helping Ukraine, (…) for as long as it takes,” the former US army general told reporters in Riga, adding that Latvia had played a “key role” in supplying military aid to Ukraine.
“Latvia has continued to contribute to the overall effort and we are grateful for that,” he said.
Riga has delivered at least 200 million euros ($206 million) of military aid to Ukraine, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, ammunition and personal equipment.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Latvian counterpart Artis Pabriks, Austin warned that if Ukraine did not win the war against Russia, the war “will come to us”.
Austin arrived in Latvia Tuesday and visited the main military base in Adazi where he met with Latvian officials.
He also met with Latvian prime minister Krisjanis Karins to discuss strengthening bilateral cooperation, including in the purchase of weapons.
Latvia has bought Black Hawk helicopters from the US and plans to purchase HIMARS rocket artillery systems, the prime minister’s office said.
Austin’s visit to Latvia was the first by a US defense secretary since Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia joined Nato in 2004.
Nato defense ministers have visited Latvia regularly, especially since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. EFE