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Germany and France team up to support Ukraine’s air defense

The defense ministers of Germany and France established a coalition that will help Ukraine improve its air defense capabilities, which are crucial for defending its territory and countering Russia’s aggression, which involves constant air strikes.
Skynex anti-aircraft system. Ukraine received the state-of-the-art equipment from Germany to defend itself against Russian air raids, Handelsblatt says. Photo: Rheinmetall via Handelsblatt
Germany and France team up to support Ukraine’s air defense

On 14 February, German and French Defense Ministers Boris Pistorius and Sébastien Lecornu signed an agreement to create a coalition to support Ukraine’s air defense, the Defense Ministry of France announced.

Russia has launched long-range missiles and kamikaze drones to hit military and critical civilian infrastructure in Ukraine every single day since the beginning of the full-scale invasion in February 2024. Ukraine critically needs to strengthen its air defense system to protect its cities, which suffer from constant Russian aerial assaults.

“Less than a month after the launch of the Artillery for Ukraine coalition in Paris on 18 January, France is once again co-leading the coalition. Faced with a war of attrition, support for Ukraine is now organized around five important coalitions. Strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities will be crucial for protecting civilians,” the Defense Ministry of France stated.

Commenting on creating the new coalition, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu noted that strengthening Ukraine’s air defense capabilities is essential for Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from Russian attacks and continue to repel the ongoing full-scale invasion.

The agreement on creating the “air defense coalition” was signed on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels today. The newly formed coalition aims to provide effective support to Ukraine in the field of ground-based air defense in the long term.

According to Germany’s Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, after the emergency assistance to Ukraine, the Ukrainian allies’ attention shifted to “long-term capabilities.” Boris Pistorius noted that air defense is a basic prerequisite for the success of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the fight against the Russian aggressor.

The German Defense Minister also announced that Germany will lead a “coalition of armored combat vehicles” together with Poland and consider joining coalitions on artillery, maritime security, mine action, and drones.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov stated that Ukraine and its allies focused on strengthening the Ukrainian air defense with air defense systems and missiles during the 19th meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense in Ramstein format, which began on 14 February.

According to Rustem Umerov, besides Germany and France, 15 other countries have already joined the newly created “air defense coalition.”

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the creation of a coalition to develop Ukrainian air defense after the 17th meeting of the Ramstein Contact Group on Ukraine’s Defense in 2023.

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