Ukraine’s allies not giving enough air defence, minister says

1 week ago 35

Updated

Apr 03, 2024, 08:17 PM

Published

Apr 03, 2024, 08:17 PM

BRUSSELS - Ukraine's partners are not providing enough air defence to protect against Russian missile attacks even though they have more than 100 Patriot systems in their own arsenals, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Reuters, Kuleba said he would raise the issue of Patriot missile defence systems in every one of a series of meetings with NATO counterparts over the next two days in Brussels.

In recent weeks, Russia has unleashed an increased barrage of attacks on Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure, underscoring Kyiv’s urgent need for protection.

"Partners did provide us with their different (air defence) systems, we appreciate that, but it's just simply insufficient, given the scale of the war," Kuleba said.

He said Ukraine’s partners had more than 100 Patriot systems at their disposal but had so far not been willing to share even five to seven more – the number that Kyiv says is the minimum needed to provide significant additional protection.

"Is it such a big problem? Is it not feasible to provide Ukraine with the minimum request?" Kuleba asked.

Russia fired over 3,000 guided aerial bombs, 600 drones and 400 missiles at Ukraine in March alone, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday.

Kuleba said Russia's attacks in March involved 94 ballistic missiles, which are much faster than more commonly used cruise missiles, and harder to shoot down.

"Come on, guys. I mean ... this happens to us every day," Kuleba said, summarising his message to Ukraine’s allies. "And the solution is there. It's just an issue of political will. So someone has to make the decision."

Kuleba said it was not clear to him why allies were so far not providing extra Patriots, especially as Kyiv’s partners did not face the missile threa...

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