June 23, 2024

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Ukraine: Road Race for Western Patriots

Ukraine: Road Race for Western Patriots

Efforts by the West, specifically the United States, to coordinate the deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft systems in Ukraine are developing into a race, while Kiev is pushing to speed up the proceedings.

The US Pentagon says it will “manage” the mission Patriot and artillery ammunition to Ukraine as part of a new military aid package. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed on Friday that the United States will use $6 billion for this purpose. However, Patriot missile launch systems will not be sent.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky He said Patriot missiles were “urgently” needed to counter the growing Russian air threat and “they can and must save lives right now.”

A source confirmed to BBC The $6 billion amount was part of a $60 billion aid package signed by US President Joe Biden on Wednesday, which also includes $1 billion in immediate aid. Mr. Austin said in a press conference that the United States is committed to greater So far the security aid package will “act immediately” to deliver supplies to Ukraine.

These weapons would include air defense munitions, anti-drone aircraft systems, and artillery munitions, but not Patriot missile systems. “There's no need for just patriots [οι Ουκρανοί]“Other types of systems and interceptors are needed,” Mr. Austin said. “I would warn us all that the Patriots are getting a silver bullet.”

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown said the aid should eliminate the need for the Ukrainians to share missiles on the front lines. Some of the latest funding will also be allocated to developing Ukraine's defense industry so it can start manufacturing more of the munitions it desperately needs.

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Austin said Russia has already increased its domestic production of artillery ammunition and other weapons, as well as being supported by supplies from Iran and North Korea. “Understand what is at stake for Ukraine, Europe and the United States,” he said. He added, “If Putin wins in Ukraine, Europe will face a security threat that it has never witnessed in its entire life. Russia will not stop in Ukraine.”

A Ukrainian security source told Agence France-Presse that Moscow wanted to destroy Ukrainian railway infrastructure “to paralyze the delivery and movement of military cargo.” Ukraine has only a few Patriot missiles to supplement other Western missile defense systems and its existing stock of Soviet-era surface-to-air missiles such as the S-300.

These are the most capable and expensive air defense systems that Ukraine has. All Patriots set It costs about $1 billion (£800 million) and each missile costs approximately $4 million.

Germany has already pledged to deploy an additional Patriot system, and the defense and foreign ministers earlier this month appealed to their European counterparts to respond urgently.

On the other hand, as the BBC noted, Greece has a stockpile of Patriot missiles and S-300 systems, but has announced that none can be supplied. “We explained why we couldn't do it.” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Sky TV. He said his country's air defenses are “crucial systems for protecting Greek airspace.”

Yesterday, Politico newspaper reported Greece’s refusal, citing statements by German Defense Minister Pistorius, who seemed to not understand the reasons behind the position of Greece and Spain, which… Despite her initial objections, she appears to have found a compromise.

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As the Prime Minister said He added: “Greece will not send Ukraine S-300 or Patriot systems. We were asked and explained why we cannot do this. Let me explain this in more detail: Greece has supported Ukraine in different ways, with defense materials. But we said from the first moment that we cannot Getting rid of weapons systems that are critical to our deterrence capability. We have a surplus of material with which we can support Ukraine, and we have done that and I think that is the right choice and to the extent that we can find such material, we will continue to do so. The air defense systems you mentioned are important systems for protecting Greek airspace and will not be given to Ukraine.”

As Politico commented, Athens refuses to abide by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky The missiles were delivered for security reasons as the government is concerned about Türkiye's intentions.

Spain will reportedly supply some of the Patriot missiles, but not the full system. the Spain Will deliver to Ukraine Missiles for air defense systems PatriotSpanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles confirmed on Friday. Earlier, the Spanish newspaper El Pais revealed that Madrid had decided to supply Kiev with surface-to-air missiles for the Patriot systems, but without launch pads or radars.

The Spanish Ministry of Defense said Robles confirmed the report in a conference call of the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine. The briefing notes that Robles did not specify whether or not Spain would deliver Patriot radars and launchers.

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Spain has three Patriot missiles, one of which is stationed in Turkey as part of the deployment of NATO forces to deter missile attacks from Syria.

The Spanish Defense Minister also stressed Madrid's unwavering support for Kiev, stressing that it will continue to support the Ukrainian army in its fight against the Russian invaders. In this context, additional Leopard tanks will be delivered, which are currently being repaired. The first batch is expected to be deployed in Ukraine by the end of June.

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