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Contact group for Western military aid to Ukraine will meet July 20 — Pentagon

The meeting will be held virtually

WASHINGTON, July 19. /TASS/. The contact group that the West created for military assistance to Kiev will hold its next meeting on July 20, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale announced the date in a statement following phone talks between Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov.

The meeting will be held virtually.

Austin and Reznikov also "exchanged perspectives on security assistance to Ukraine and pledged to remain in close coordination," according to the statement.

Reznikov also provided an update on the situation on the ground.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency on April 30 that NATO countries are doing everything to prevent the completion of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine through political agreements as they send an endless stream of various weapons to Ukraine. The foreign minister said the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia "to the last Ukrainian," as they absolutely don’t care about the fate of Ukraine. Lavrov and other Russian officials also have raised the risk that the weapons the West provides to Ukraine will end up in other parts of the world.

On February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aims to demilitarize and de-Nazify the country. The West retaliated to the Russian decision by imposing sweeping sanctions on the country. Also, Western countries started shipments of weapons to Kiev, which by now are worth billions of dollars. Some Western politicians have described the situation as an economic war on Russia. Putin said on March 16 that Western sanctions bear the signs of an aggression and the West pursues a long-term policy of containing Russia.