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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at an event to release the State Department's 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report on June 24, 2024, in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)
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Ukraine is expected to get "more news" on air defense capabilities before the upcoming NATO summit in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on July 1.

Kyiv has been calling on its partners to provide additional air defenses since Russia intensified strikes against Ukrainian population centers and infrastructure in the spring, destroying all thermal power plants and killing civilians.

According to Blinken, Ukraine needs air defense capabilities to develop its military and economic potential.

"There is extraordinary potential in Ukraine’s economy with the right investment.  Now, of course, for both its military capacity and its economic capacity, you’ve got to make sure that you have air defenses in place to try to protect the areas in which you’re making investments," he said at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

"We’re driving that. I think you’ll see more news on that in the coming weeks as we get to the NATO summit."

An unnamed senior U.S. State Department official told Reuters on July 2 that "some new announcements on air defense" could be made at the event.

"You've heard that the Ukrainians are keen to secure additional Patriots or similar systems. And I think we'll have some additional good news for them on that front," the source told Reuters.

Washington announced in June it had deprioritized the near-term planned deliveries of foreign military sales to other countries, particularly Patriot and NASAMS missiles, to supply them to Ukraine first.

A few days later, the Financial Times reported that the U.S., Israel, and Ukraine are in negotiations on providing Ukraine with up to eight Patriot air defense systems.

Ukraine operates at least three Patriot systems provided by the U.S., the Netherlands, and Germany, with Berlin and Bucharest recently pledging to deliver two more systems.

The next NATO summit will take place on July 9-11 in Washington.

Kyiv has voiced hope that the summit will bring a more definite signal about Ukraine's future membership in the alliance. American officials made it clear that the country is unlikely to receive an invitation.

Ahead of the upcoming NATO summit, Ukraine aims to secure a "guaranteed" military funding commitment from allies, Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna said in late June.

US to announce $2.3 billion military aid package to Ukraine ‘soon’
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the package will include air defense missiles, anti-tank weapons “and other critical munitions from U.S. stockpiles,” Voice of America reported.

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