Skip to content
Edit post

FT: NATO has only 5% of air defense required to defend eastern flank

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 30, 2024 4:56 PM 2 min read
Two Patriot air defense systems in Zamosc, Poland, on July 3, 2023. (Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

More than two years into Russia's full-scale war on Ukraine, the air defense capabilities of NATO's eastern flank are only at 5% of the amount seen as necessary to deter an attack, the Financial Times (FT) reported on May 29, citing sources.

NATO members located in central and eastern Europe have publicized plans in recent weeks to improve their collective air defense in response to the Russian threat.  

Yet, according to unnamed sources who spoke to the FT, the current air defense capabilities of NATO's eastern flank are far from sufficient.

Air defense is a "major part of the plan to defend eastern Europe from invasion," a NATO diplomat told the FT.

"And right now, we don't have that."

Russia's usage of drones and glide bombs against Ukraine has further highlighted the need for NATO to improve its air defense capabilities.

"(Air defense) is one of the biggest holes we have," another NATO diplomat told the FT. "We can't deny it."

Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said earlier in May that a group of countries, including the Baltic states, Poland, Norway, and Finland, have agreed to create a "drone wall" to help defend their collective borders.

The announcement came after Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that Poland had signed a contract to join the European Sky Shield Initiative, which currently includes 21 countries. The initiative aims to create an Iron Dome-style air defense system covering NATO members across Europe.

Timothy Garton Ash: We’re at the beginning of a new era. What we do now is particularly important
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity. When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it dramatically changed the continent. The largest conventional war in Europe since World War II demanded Western leaders move away from their peacetime thinking and…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.