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Pentagon Chief Austin rallies allies to deliver Patriot to Ukraine

The Pentagon chief has intensified efforts to persuade European nations to part with their Patriot batteries amid growing concerns over Ukraine’s dwindling air defense supplies.
The head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin in Brussels, 2023. Photo: Depositphotos
Pentagon Chief Austin rallies allies to deliver Patriot to Ukraine

The head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, asked countries with Patriot air defense missile systems to transfer them to Ukraine against the backdrop of its shortage of air defense supplies, European Pravda reported.

The head of the Pentagon did not specify with whom exactly he discussed aid to Ukraine. Still, it is known that in Europe, Patriot batteries are held by Spain, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden, among others.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said earlier in April that Ukraine has identified 100 air defense systems in allied countries and is asking to transfer at least seven of them to protect Ukrainian cities.

During a hearing at the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on 30 April, Austin recalled the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting last week, which focused on the issue of supplying air defense systems.

“Some countries have Patriots, and what we’re doing is continuing to negotiate with those countries. I spoke with the leaders of several countries over the past two weeks, encouraging them to give up more assets or provide more assets,” he said.

Of these countries, only Germany has recently announced the urgent transfer of one system.

The media previously reported that Greece and Spain are under strong pressure from their EU and NATO allies to provide Ukraine with additional air defense systems.

Ukraine received its first US-designed air defense system, Patriot, last summer. However, three Patriots are insufficient to defend the entire country against aerial bombardment as Russia has increased the size and the scale of the attacks on Ukraine since March

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