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BERLIN: The United States will gather its allies in Germany next week for a new round of talks on backing Ukraine militarily, the US airbase in Ramstein said on Tuesday.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will host an in-person meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein on January 20, the base said in a statement.

Austin "has again invited Ministers of Defense and senior military officials from around the world to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and various security issues facing US allies and partners," it said.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group includes some 50 countries supporting Ukraine's war effort against Russia.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said earlier that Kyiv's Western backers would meet next week with Ukraine's defence minister "to discuss exactly what types of weapons are needed and how can allies provide those weapons".

US to unveil over $3bn in Ukraine aid with new air defense missiles

He spoke as the US-led alliance and the European Union vowed to bolster backing for Ukraine and ramp up cooperation.

The Ramstein meeting, the group's third, follows announcements from the United States, Germany and France that they will now also supply Ukraine with armoured fighting vehicles -- but Kyiv has pleaded for modern heavy tanks to be sent as well.

Ukraine has long pushed for heavier weaponry, including tanks, that would allow it to go on the offensive.

Western nations have been reluctant, citing fears of becoming drawn into the war or provoking Russia.

But the Ukrainians have built momentum and Western nations have been expanding the range of weapons being provided.

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