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Ukraine's main message to NATO: Providing more Patriot air defenses

Ukraine's main message to NATO: Providing more Patriot air defenses Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine's main message at the Ukraine-NATO Council meeting in Brussels is providing Patriot air defense systems to Kyiv, says Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba ahead of the NATO foreign ministers meeting.

He says Russia's strategy is to eliminate Ukraine from the world map.

"I don’t want to spoil the party … the birthday party (NATO turns 75 - ed.), but my main message today will be Patriots,” he said.

Kuleba adds that saving Ukrainian lives, saving the Ukrainian economy, and saving Ukrainian cities depends on the availability of Patriots and other air defense systems in Ukraine.

"And only in March, Ukraine was hit with 94 ballistic missiles. But providing Patriots depends on allies, they have plenty of them," he said.

Air defense in Ukraine

Ukraine has received the entire range of air defense systems it negotiated with Western partners. However, more of these systems are needed. As former Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat explained, Ukraine requires more systems like Patriot, SAMP/T IRIS-T, NASAMS, to protect the country and the facilities that the enemy will try to attack and destroy.

A multi-level air defense system has been built around Kyiv, consisting of different types of weaponry. But no air defense system, including in the capital, guarantees complete protection.

In late February, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that sending 10 Patriot missile systems to Ukraine would have a fundamental impact on the war. Reacting to the shelling of Kharkiv on March 27, Zelenskyy questioned why abundant Patriot air defense systems still do not cover the sky over the regional center.