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Italy decided to withdraw its air defense system from Slovakia

Italy decided to withdraw its air defense system from Slovakia Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia (photo: Getty Images)

Italy plans to withdraw its air defense system from Slovakia, which was temporarily transferred to the country last year to replace the American Patriot air defense system, announces Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

According to the Slovak politician, he received a corresponding message from the Italian government regarding the withdrawal of the air defense system, which they lent us for a year, (it) will be withdrawn from Slovakia because they need it elsewhere.

In this context, Fico questioned who would protect nuclear power plants and other strategic targets in Slovakia.

"At first the previous government donated a functional massive Russian S-300 missile defense system to Ukraine. Then we had US Patriots here for a while, but they have gone and the Italians will leave now as well," he said. notes that in Slovakia, 145 Italian soldiers with the SAMP/T Mamba air defense system operate at the Malacky-Kuchyna military base as part of NATO's forward presence.

Slovakia's position on defense aid for Ukraine

Earlier the new Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, stated that Bratislava would not support providing military assistance to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.

Later, Slovakia came up with an excuse for refusing to provide defense assistance to Ukraine. Bratislava allegedly can no longer assist because it needs to maintain its defense capability.

On November 8, 2023, the new government of Slovakia refused to provide Ukraine with another (14th) package of military assistance totaling 40.3 million euros, which was approved by the country's previous Ministry of Defense.

Fico's government stated that Ukraine had received 13 packages totaling 671 million euros. In addition to military assistance, the previous government offered humanitarian aid: medical supplies and fuel.

It should also be noted that earlier, the new Prime Minister of Slovakia stated that he did not intend to obstruct the export of private defense companies.

In January, the Speaker of the Slovak Parliament, Peter Pellegrini, stated that the country would continue to implement private contracts in the military sphere. However, Slovakia will not send military aid to Ukraine from its army warehouses.

Also, on January 24 in Uzhhorod, following the meeting of Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal with his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico, the parties reached several agreements, including military-technical cooperation.