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President Iohannis: Romania open to discussing sending Patriot to Ukraine

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 7, 2024 11:40 PM 2 min read
MIM-104 Patriot short-range anti-aircraft missile systems for defense against aircraft, cruise missiles, and medium-range tactical ballistic missiles at Rzeszow Airport, Poland. July 24, 2022. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Romania is open to discussing the possibility of sending a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, the country's president said on May 7, Reuters reported.

Speaking in Washington after a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, Klaus Iohannis said he would discuss the matter with his Supreme Defence Council.

This is the latest development from Western nations responding to calls from Kyiv for more air defenses in the face of escalating Russian missile and drone attacks on cities across Ukraine.

"There has been a discussion about who can send Patriot systems to Ukraine over the last few weeks," Iohannis said.

"President Biden mentioned it... in our meeting, and I said I was open to discussion. I must discuss it in the Supreme Defence Council to see what we can offer and what we can get in return, because it is unacceptable to leave Romania without air defenses."

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Romania signed a deal in 2017 to obtain Patriot systems but so far only has one that is operational. Iohannis said any discussions would concern a system that was in an advanced stage of becoming operational.

Germany announced on April 13 that it would provide Kyiv with an additional Patriot system. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz then called on other NATO allies to do the same.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk responded that Poland could not give up the Patriot system installed at Rzeszow airport in southeastern Poland, as it is a key logistics hub for defense aid deliveries into Ukraine.

Greek media reported on April 22 that Athens planned to send at least one Patriot system to Ukraine, but Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ruled this out in an interview on April 25.

Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles then announced on April 26 that Spain would send Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to Kyiv. They arrived this week.

Romanian Defense Ministry proposes law enabling military intervention to protect Romanians abroad
Romania’s Defense Ministry has proposed a draft law that would enable its troops to be deployed to protect Romanian citizens outside of Romania’s territory, Romanian newspaper Adevarul reported on April 3.
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