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EU and NATO urge Greece and Spain to provide Ukraine with air defense systems - Financial Times

EU and NATO urge Greece and Spain to provide Ukraine with air defense systems - Financial Times Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Greece and Spain are under intense pressure from their EU and NATO allies to provide Ukraine with more air defense systems, according to Financial Times.

This month, Ukraine appealed to its Western allies with an urgent request for seven additional air defense systems, such as the US Patriot or the Soviet S-300, as Russia intensifies its air and missile campaign against the country's cities and energy infrastructure.

So far, only Germany has announced the delivery of one Patriot system. Other EU leaders used last week's summit in Brussels to personally urge Spanish and Greek Prime Ministers Pedro Sanchez and Kyriakos Mitsotakis to transfer some of their systems to Ukraine.

The leaders of the two countries, whose militaries have more than a dozen Patriot systems, as well as other systems such as the S-300, were told that their needs are not as great as Ukraine's and that they do not face an immediate threat.

One of the interlocutors points out that they all know who has Patriots, where they were located, and who truly needs them.

According to officials, Poland and Romania, which also have Patriots, are under less pressure to consider supplying Kyiv, given their more vulnerable location on the border with Ukraine.

Ukraine currently has at least three Patriot systems in service, including one delivered by the United States and two received from Germany before Berlin's announcement last week.

Air defense for Ukraine

Over the past month, the Russian troops have significantly intensified their air attacks on Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure. In particular, Russia has been attacking targets on a large scale with ballistic missiles that can be shot down by only two air defense systems in the world - the American Patriot and the French-Italian SAMP/T.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that 25 Patriot systems are needed to completely block the sky over Ukraine from Russian missiles.

At the same time, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Ukraine could receive six more Patriot systems from partners.