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US intends to halt all Patriot air defense orders, prioritizing Ukraine's needs

US intends to halt all Patriot air defense orders, prioritizing Ukraine's needs US President Joe Biden (Getty Images)

The United States intends to suspend all open orders for Patriot air defense systems and missiles until Ukraine receives sufficient funds to protect itself from Russian air attacks, according to the Financial Times.

Sources said that the US decision would be announced Thursday, June 20. Last week, President Joe Biden said in Italy that he had secured commitments to supply additional air defense systems to Ukraine. These will include Patriot missile batteries, which Kyiv has been requesting since Russia stepped up missile and drone attacks on its power plants.

Thursday's US announcement will cement Biden's commitment to Kyiv and ensure that Ukraine receives the Patriot systems needed to protect its cities and critical infrastructure, two people familiar with the decision told the media.

Poland, Romania, and Germany are among the European states with open orders for Patriot systems that have not yet been delivered. Spain also has an open order for Patriot launchers. A coalition of NATO countries also placed an order for 1,000 Patriot missiles in January.

Patriot for Ukraine

Air defense, namely Patriot systems capable of intercepting Russian ballistic missiles, remains an urgent need for Ukraine in the current difficult situation.

So far, only Germany has expressed its readiness to provide one Patriot battery, which will be the third system to be transferred by this country.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, positive decisions on the supply of two or three more Patriot systems are expected soon. Negotiations on sending the system are underway with the United States and European countries.