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Spain to provide Ukraine with batch of missiles for Patriot

Spain to provide Ukraine with batch of missiles for Patriot Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Spain will provide Ukraine with Patriot missiles, despite pressure from NATO and the EU, which demand that European countries that have this American-made system hand them over to Kyiv, according to El Pais.

Government sources revealed that the decision to transfer a limited number of missiles came after Spain's Defense Ministry refused to hand over a battery deployed since 2013 on the Türkiye-Syria border.

Spain's armed forces possess three batteries, each equipped with corresponding missile launchers, radar, and control stations, procured from Germany in 2004 and 2014. One of these batteries is stationed in Adana, Türkiye, while the other two are based with the Marine Infantry in Valencia. One of them is utilized for training Ukrainian and Spanish soldiers in operating the system.

Despite Spain's Defense Ministry adamantly refusing to supply Ukraine with the systems, citing their effectiveness in missile defense as demonstrated in wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, Spain has agreed to provide a batch of Patriot missiles as compensation, according to sources familiar with the matter. However, the quantity will be highly restricted, given Spain's military reserves of approximately 50 units and the high cost of interceptors.

Ukraine's urgent need for air defense

Ukraine's urgent need for air defense has escalated following Russia's renewed strikes on energy facilities.

Germany has already pledged assistance to Ukraine in acquiring air defense systems, with a decision made to transfer an additional Patriot system.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy previously said that 25 Patriot systems were required to fully secure Ukraine's airspace from Russian drones and missiles.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba disclosed that Ukraine has identified 100 available Patriot systems worldwide but primarily seeks to obtain 7 of them. Kuleba recently announced Kyiv's efforts to secure an additional four Patriot batteries from allies.