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NATO has put pressure on two European countries to provide Ukraine with more anti-aircraft weapons

NATO has put pressure on two European countries to provide Ukraine with more anti-aircraft weapons

The Ukrainian leadership turned to the Western Allies with an urgent request For seven additional air defense systemsSuch as US-made Patriot missiles or S-300 missiles developed by the Soviet Union, as Russia intensifies its air and missile campaign against Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure.

On Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on X:

Patriot missiles can only be called air defense systems when they are effective and save lives, and do not stand still in storage bases somewhere.

Only Germany announced the delivery of the Patriot system. Other EU leaders used last week's summit in Brussels to personally urge Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to donate some air defense systems to Ukraine, according to sources close to the matter.

The request to donate air defense systems was repeated at the meeting of foreign and defense ministers of the 27 European Union countries held in Luxembourg on Monday. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Rustam Omerov joined the meeting via video. Immediately after the meeting, no further promises were made regarding the air defense systems.

It is known that Kyiv is particularly interested in the ancient Greek S-300 systemsWhich is already in the arsenal of Ukrainian forces and in which they already have experience.

There are countries that do not directly need their air defense systems to be so honest… Each country has to decide what it can do without them.

– said a diplomat from the European Union.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albarez was asked by reporters on Monday whether the country was preparing to send members of the National Guard to Ukraine. “We realize that Ukraine needs air defense systems, especially Patriot systems,” he said. “Spain has always done its best [a segítségnyújtásért]”.

Poland and Romania, which also have Patriot systems, are under less pressure to consider handing them over to Kiev, given their more vulnerable location on the Ukrainian border, officials say.

Ukraine currently has at least three Patriot systems, including one system provided by the United States and two by Germany. Kiev also possesses long-range surface-to-air missile systems developed by the former Soviet Union, including… S-300 and S-200 systems. A modified and updated version of the latter was used to shoot down a Russian Tu-22M3 long-range strategic bomber in Russia's Stavropol region last week, according to Ukrainian officials.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday that more pledges to send air defenses were expected to be “announced soon”, but he did not give details about the countries or weapons involved.

Stoltenberg said that NATO had conducted a review of the air defense capabilities possessed by its member states and their locations

This designation confirms that systems, including Patriot systems, are available to Ukraine.

Cover image source: Getty Images

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