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NATO to boost Ukraine’s air defenses amid Russian air superiority in region

NATO to boost Ukraine's air defenses amid Russian air superiority in region
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 19, 2024 9:59 PM

NATO countries agree to increase military aid to Ukraine, particularly in the area of air defense, following virtual discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

In response to urgent pleas from Ukraine for enhanced military support, NATO countries have agreed to bolster Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, announced alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg on Friday.

Following virtual discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Stoltenberg disclosed that NATO defense ministers have committed to increasing military aid, particularly in the realm of air defense.

“NATO defense ministers have agreed to step up and provide further military support, including more air defense,” Stoltenberg affirmed, highlighting ongoing efforts to identify available systems within the alliance that can be deployed to Ukraine.

Stoltenberg expressed confidence in forthcoming announcements regarding the provision of air defense capabilities to Ukraine, citing the existence of Patriot and Franco-Italian SAMP/T systems within NATO countries’ inventories that can be transferred to Ukraine.

Despite these assurances, Stoltenberg refrained from specifying concrete commitments made during the meeting.

Earlier this week, Germany announced its decision to supply Ukraine with an additional Patriot system, augmenting the two already delivered. Notable NATO countries possessing Patriot systems include the United States, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Romania, and Poland.

The impending vote on a $61-billion aid package for Ukraine by US lawmakers on Saturday is anticipated to unlock further support from Washington, a development eagerly awaited by NATO allies.

“I count on the bill to pass without further delay,” remarked Stoltenberg, emphasizing the significance of swift action in addressing Ukraine’s dire security needs.

The delay in securing support from Washington, coupled with challenges in sourcing adequate weaponry from European allies, has left Ukrainian forces grappling with the formidable task of repelling Russian advances.

In addition to air defense systems, Stoltenberg revealed that NATO ministers deliberated on addressing Ukraine’s diverse security requirements, encompassing artillery shells, long-range missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).

“Each NATO ally will decide what to provide. Several allies made concrete commitments during the meeting and are finalizing contributions that I expect will be announced soon,” Stoltenberg concluded, underscoring NATO’s collective endeavor to fortify Ukraine’s defenses against escalating Russian aggression.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:43 PM