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Stoltenberg: NATO working to give Ukraine more air defense systems

by Kateryna Hodunova April 19, 2024 11:46 AM 2 min read
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at NATO headquarters on Feb. 14, 2024 in Brussels, Belgium. (Omar Havana / Getty Images)
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NATO members are discussing sending some of their air defense systems to Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a press conference after the Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers meeting in Capri on April 18.

The event was held amid the upcoming NATO-Ukraine Council meeting on April 19. President Volodymyr Zelensky requested the gathering as Russia intensified its aerial attacks on Ukrainian cities, and the air defense shortage became tangible.

Stoltenberg said that NATO is currently working on providing air defense systems, including Patriot, SAMP/T, NASAMS, AMRAAM, RST systems.

"The Patriot batteries are critical because they are the most advanced," Stoltenberg stressed, adding that NATO is currently discussing with "some specific countries" the potential supply of this equipment.

He added that allies that do not provide Ukraine with air defense systems will be asked to provide financial support.

"Ninety-nine percent of the NATO support has come from NATO allies, but there is a need to do more," Stoltenberg said.

NATO also needs a "more institutionalized and stable" framework for assistance to Ukraine to make it more organized and coordinated, he said.

"In the long run, of course, we cannot continue to be in a situation where Russia is outgunning Ukraine in the way they do now. The Russians are shooting and shooting, and Ukrainians have limited resources to shoot back," Stoltenberg said.

"So, Ukrainians need more."

According to Zelensky, Ukraine needs 25 Patriots to protect the entire country from Russian attacks.

As Kyiv ramped up the calls on allies to receive more air defense systems, Germany announced on April 13 that it would provide Ukraine with an additional Patriot system.

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

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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