In the Thick of It

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UDCG January 2023

How Much Would 0.25% of Ramstein Group Members’ GDP Really Raise for Ukraine?

March 07, 2024
Conor Cunningham and RM Staff

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was quoted on Jan. 17, 2024, as saying that every member of the so-called Ramstein group should channel the equivalent of 0.25% of their gross domestic product to Kyiv annually, which “would raise at least €120 billion ($131 billion) and swing the conflict in Ukraine’s favor,” according to Bloomberg.

In her claim, Kallas did not list members of this group, which is officially known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG), only noting that the group comprised more than 50 countries, including all 31 members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Thus, we contacted Kallas’ staff to ask for the list of members. The prime minister’s office referred us to the Wikipedia page, and advised contacting the press service of the U.S. Department of Defense, which typically hosts the group’s meetings at the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein air base in Germany (thus, the informal name of the group), for an official list. In response to the RM inquiry, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Charlie Dietz identified 43 countries (44 including Ukraine) as members of UDCG, listed below in Table 1.

Having ascertained the number of group members, as calculated by the Pentagon, we then totaled 0.25% of their GDP for 2022, as measured by the World Bank in constant (and, thus, inflation-adjusted) dollars. The resultant sum equaled €117.87 billion ($128.3 billion) (see Table 1). That comes close to Kallas’ estimate, even though she stated that the group includes more than 50 countries, while Pentagon spokesman Dietz identified only 43 members of the group. For our calculation, we rely upon the number supplied by the Pentagon, as the UDCG is led by the U.S. Given the discrepancy between the Pentagon spokesman’s number and the prime minister’s number, we can posit that 0.25% of the approximately 10 remaining countries’ GDP likely satisfies the gap between $128.3 and $131 billion.  

Additionally, if one totals 0.25% of 2022 GDP for all countries that have provided military aid to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute of the World Economy’s database as of February 2024, the sum would be $126.7 billion in constant dollars (see Table 2).


  1. The list of countries in the first column of Table 1 includes members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group as identified by Pentagon spokesman Maj. Charlie Dietz in an email response on Jan. 31 to RM’s inquiry. This Pentagon-supplied list comprises all nation-states mentioned above in addition to acknowledging the EU and NATO as members. However, Cyprus and Malta, both EU members, are not explicitly listed, unlike the other NATO and EU members. Therefore, they are excluded from this calculation. 


Conor Cunningham is a student associate with Russia Matters.

DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jack Sanders available in the public domain.