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G7 foreign ministers vow to boost Ukraine's air defense capabilities

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 19, 2024 2:44 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian soldiers with the 24th Mechanized Brigade monitor the sky while on air defense duty in Kostiantynivka, Ukraine, on Aug. 8, 2023, amid Russia's war against Ukraine. (Wojciech Grzedzinski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers promised on April 19 to strengthen Ukraine's air defense capabilities to protect civilians and critical infrastructure from Russian attacks.

As Moscow intensified its attacks on Ukraine during the spring, the shortage of air defense systems in Ukrainian cities and villages is being felt more acutely.

The statement during the G7 meeting on the island of Capri in Italy followed Russian morning attacks on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, which reportedly killed at least eight civilians, including two children, and injuring over 30 other people.

"We express our resolve in particular to bolster Ukraine's air defense capabilities to save lives and protect critical infrastructure. We will also work with partners towards this end," the ministers of the U.S., the U.K., Italy, France, Canada, Germany and the High Representative of the European Union said.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the Washington Post in an interview published on April 10 that Ukraine aims to obtain an additional seven Patriot air defense systems, and has offered that Kyiv can loan the systems from other countries.

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War Notes

Recent attacks against Ukraine's energy infrastructure destroyed several thermal power plants across the country, including the key power Trypillia plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

The ministers condemned these strikes and welcomed the launch of the Register of Damage caused by Russia's war against Ukraine.

"Russia must pay for the damage and devastation it is causing," the statement read.

The G7 foreign ministers also said they would consider using frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

According to the latest estimation by the World Bank, the cost of Ukraine's post-war recovery and reconstruction has risen to $486 billion.

Around $300 billion of the Russian Central Bank's assets are frozen in the West. The Group of Seven (G7) nations pledged in October 2023 that Russian assets frozen in their jurisdictions would remain frozen until Moscow pays war reparations to Ukraine.

Scholz hopes NATO countries can deliver 6 more Patriots to Ukraine
There are six additional Patriot systems in NATO countries that could be delivered to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on April 18 following a Special European Council summit in Brussels.

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