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Romanian PM says defense chief reluctant to send Ukraine Patriot system, but decision rests with defense council

Romania’s prime minister says the defense minister is very reluctant to provide a Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, though the final decision will be made by the Supreme National Defense Council.
Patriot ukraine air defense
Patriot SAMs in Ukraine. Photo: Oleksiy Reznikov via X
Romanian PM says defense chief reluctant to send Ukraine Patriot system, but decision rests with defense council

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu disclosed that Defense Minister Angel Tîlvăr harbors “serious reservations” about transferring Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, but Romania’s Supreme Council of National Defense (CSAT) will make the final decision, according to Digi24.

Earlier, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stated during his visit to the US on 7 May his openness to discussing sending a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, but he needs to consult his Supreme Defense Council to ensure Romania maintains its air defense capabilities.

The head of the Romanian government also says that he has not discussed the issue with Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, and stated that the decision will be taken in the CSAT, together with the Romanian president.

“In our country, according to the Constitution, the supreme commander of the army is Mr. President Klaus Iohannis. I have not yet had a discussion following the president’s visit to the United States. I have had discussions with the Minister of Defense. The Minister of Defense has significant reservations about giving this system, one of the systems to Ukraine,” Marcel Ciolacu stated on 12 May, according to Digi24.

PM Marcel Ciolacu added:

I am firmly convinced that we will take the wisest decision as far as Romania is concerned, first of all a good one.

In 2017, Romania signed a $4 billion deal for Patriot systems, with the first shipment arriving in 2020.

  • On 6 April 2024, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said that Ukraine needed 25 Patriot systems – six to eight batteries each – to completely cover the country’s skies.
  • On 6 May, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on European allies to strengthen Ukraine’s air defense with what they have in stock, as there is no time to wait for new air defense equipment to be manufactured for the Ukrainian army.

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