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Ukraine to get 5 more air defense systems : Biden

GreenWatch Desk World News 2024-07-10, 2:35pm

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Ukraine is receiving five additional air defense systems to protect its sovereign territory, including three additional Patriot batteries from the United States, Germany and Romania.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced the five systems as NATO members commemorated the 75th anniversary of the alliance during a summit in Washington.
Allies marked the anniversary at Mellon Auditorium, the site of the original signing of the North Atlantic treaty that established the defensive bloc in 1949.
Topping the summit agenda is support for Ukraine’s battle against Russia’s illegal invasion.
The Netherlands and other partners are donating Patriot components to build a fourth Patriot battery, while Italy is donating an additional SAMP-T system, according to a joint statement Tuesday by the leaders of the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Ukraine, reports VOA.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told NATO members in April that Ukraine needed a minimum of seven Patriot or other high-end air defense systems to counter Russian air strikes.
NATO allies say they are coordinating closely with Kyiv to make these systems available as soon as possible. They also said they are working to make another announcement about additional strategic air defense systems for Ukraine later this year.
“Not even our support for Ukraine has been a given,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday. “The reality is there are no cost-free options with an aggressive Russia as a neighbor. There are no risk-free options in a war, and remember, the biggest cost and the greatest risk will be if Russia wins in Ukraine.”
Since the U.S. Congress approved new aid for Ukraine following months of delays, the United States has provided Ukraine with hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment pulled from U.S. stockpiles, including the additional Patriot battery announced Tuesday and multiple rounds of long-range missiles known as ATACMS, two U.S. officials told VOA.
The ATACMS have a range of up to 300 kilometers (about 185 miles) and nearly double the striking distance of Ukraine’s missiles.
In addition, the U.S. has provided billions of dollars of funding for Kyiv’s long-term defense needs, including last week’s $2.2 billion Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package that is being used to purchase interceptors for NASAMS (medium-range ground-based air defense system) and Patriot air defense systems for Ukraine.