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Media: Greece preparing to give Ukraine at least 1 Patriot system, possibly 2

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 23, 2024 12:34 PM 2 min read
The launcher of a Patriot air defense system on Oct. 14, 2020, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. (Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Greece is preparing to give Ukraine at least one Patriot air defense system, the Greek media outlet Pronews reported on April 22, citing government sources. The figure could possibly be two, the source added.

The news follows a story by the Financial Times (FT) on April 22, in which official sources said that Greece and Spain were under specific pressure from the EU to provide additional air defense systems to Ukraine.

"European leaders personally urged Spanish and Greek prime ministers Pedro Sanchez and Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a summit in Brussels last week to donate air defense systems to Ukraine, according to people briefed on the discussions," the FT wrote.

"The two leaders, whose armed forces possess between them more than a dozen Patriot systems plus others such as S-300s, were told that their needs were not as great as Ukraine's and that they did not face any imminent threats."

Government sources told Pronews that the U.S. had provided an undisclosed "guarantee" regarding the possible provision of the Patriot systems, and assurances of assistance against any threat from Turkey, Greece's primary geopolitical foe.

The U.S. also reportedly promised that any damaged Greek Patriot systems would be replaced.

Escalating Russian strikes and resulting civilian casualties underscore Ukraine's dire need for additional air defenses, and while the potential passing of the U.S. aid bill should alleviate some of the need, President Volodymyr Zelensky told an online session of the NATO-Ukraine Council on April 19 that European countries can still do more.

According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), which tracks international aid for Ukraine, Greece has committed 185 million euros ($197 million) to Ukraine as of February 2024.

Tusk rules out sending Patriots to Ukraine
Poland cannot transfer any Patriot systems to Ukraine as it lacks reserves of its own, but will provide other forms of assistance in terms of air defense, Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters on April 22.
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