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Swedish Defense Minister on Gripen supply to Ukraine: Discussions ongoing

Swedish Defense Minister on Gripen supply to Ukraine: Discussions ongoing Illustrative photo: Sweden spoke about the possible supply of Gripen aircraft to Ukraine (Getty Images)

Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson stated that the country does not rule out the possibility of supplying Ukraine with its Gripen fighter jets. Currently, such discussions are ongoing within the framework of the aviation coalition, according to Kyiv Independent.

"The deliberations are ongoing, and they take place within the fighter jet coalition," said the head of the Swedish Ministry of Defense.

He reminded that Stockholm is part of the relevant initiative of allied countries, created to assist Ukraine in obtaining F-16 fighter jets of American production and conducting the necessary training for pilots.

The Swedish minister also noted that Europe should strengthen its assistance to Ukraine and "compensate for some of the support that is going down."

In this context, Jonson highlighted positive developments in Sweden's defense industry and the EU. In particular, Stockholm is investing in the production of 155mm shells, which Ukraine needs on the front lines. Additionally, Sweden is participating in a series of international initiatives aimed at increasing ammunition production.

According to him, the Norwegian-Finnish ammunition manufacturer Nammo, with factories in Sweden, has more than doubled its own production.

Assistance to Ukraine from Sweden and the issue of Gripen

At the end of November last year, it became known that Sweden would provide financial assistance to Ukraine. The funds will go towards the Grain From Ukraine initiative.

It was also reported that on December 11, 2023, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, announced a new aid package for Ukraine amounting to $133.5 million, including support for energy during the winter period.

This month, it was revealed that Sweden has decided to support the Czech initiative regarding the supply of artillery shells to Ukraine, allocating €30 million for this purpose.

Regarding the possibility of supplying its aircraft to Ukraine, Sweden had previously been hesitant, citing the need to first obtain NATO membership before Stockholm could consider this option. The country joined the North Atlantic Alliance on March 7.

At the end of May 2023, the Swedish government allowed Ukrainian pilots to undergo training on the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. They will have the opportunity to train on simulators and conduct test flights. The transfer of Swedish Gripens to Ukraine will need to be coordinated with other countries, just like the supply of F-16s.

In late February, the Swedish parliament expressed support for an immediate decision to supply Gripen aircraft to Ukraine.