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Pistorius asks Switzerland to send Patriot to Ukraine

Pistorius asks Switzerland to send Patriot to Ukraine German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Germany has come forward with an initiative to bolster Ukraine's air defense. Recently, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius reached out to his Swiss counterpart Viola Amherd to supply Kyiv with the Patriot system, citing NZZ.

However, negotiations clearly haven't yielded any results. As a neutral state, Switzerland does not supply military materials to warring parties, not even to Ukraine.

Berlin has made several attempts to persuade Bern to allow the transfer of ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank to Ukraine. However, the federal government couldn't authorize the re-export of these Swiss-made ammunitions, leading to sharp criticism of Switzerland.

One could have easily organized a sort of circular trade with Western countries, following the model of trading Leopard tanks. Last year, Switzerland agreed to sell 25 Leopard 2 combat tanks to a German manufacturer, on the condition that they wouldn't be sent to Ukraine. These tanks are meant to fill the gaps created in NATO and EU countries because they transferred tanks to Kiev.

According to NZZ, Switzerland has almost nothing to offer in terms of air defense, not even for a swap. The ordered American Patriot systems won't be delivered before 2026. However, Ukraine needs this weaponry urgently.

Air defense for Ukraine

Russian occupiers continue to shell Ukraine, forcing Ukrainian diplomats to knock on allies' doors for help.

Kyiv, in particular, is requesting air defense systems capable of countering even ballistic missiles.

The main goal is the Patriot system, but so far, only Germany has announced the supply of one battery. Ukraine, however, is hoping to receive at least seven.