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Sweden's defense minister doesn't rule out sending Patriots to Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 22, 2024 6:36 PM 2 min read
Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 28, 2024. (Olena Zashko/The Kyiv Independent)
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Swedish Defense Minister Pal Jonson does not rule out sending Ukraine Patriot air defense systems, the Guardian reported on April 22.

Ukraine is facing a shortage of air defense systems amid an uptick in Russian attacks on population centers and energy infrastructure. U.S.-made Patriot systems are highly effective at intercepting Russia's ballistic and cruise missiles.

According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine needs 25 Patriots to protect the country from Russian attacks, but Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he is for now focused on securing seven to protect Ukraine's largest cities.

When asked if Sweden would send Patriot systems to Kyiv, Jonson said he did not exclude the possibility.

"But right now we are focused on a financial contribution but also possibly (more) RBS 70 (man-portable air defense systems) because that could alleviate some of the pressure on the Patriots,” he added.

Since the outbreak of the full-scale Russian invasion, Stockholm has provided Ukraine with military assistance worth around 30 billion Swedish krona ($2.88 billion). The latest defense aid package was announced in February and included 10 CB 90 combat boats, 20 group boats, and underwater weapons.

Following the council meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the allies have pledged to provide Ukraine with additional air defense systems.

Germany was one of the first to heed Ukraine's call and pledged an additional Patriot air defense system, along with ammunition.

Swedish defense minister on stepping up Ukraine aid and a new era in European security
In March 2024, Sweden became NATO’s 32nd member state after a lengthy application process triggered by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Joining the alliance comes at arguably the most turbulent time in European security since the end of the Cold War, with Russia scaling up its military indu…
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