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22 Feb, 2024 08:28

Sweden announces its largest-ever Ukraine aid package 

The donation comes despite Stockholm lacking funds to replenish stockpiles after previous donations  
Sweden announces its largest-ever Ukraine aid package 

Sweden has announced its largest-ever donation of military hardware to Ukraine, despite struggling to replenish stocks after previous aid packages due to sharply rising weapons prices.   

The Defense Ministry in Stockholm unveiled its 15th aid package to Kiev, worth SEK 7.1 billion ($687 million), on Tuesday. It is the largest to date and will take the total amount of Swedish military aid to Ukraine since February 2022 to $ 2.9 billion, a statement from the ministry said. 

The donation will include artillery shells and other munitions, an anti-aircraft system, small arms, and various other supplies to support Ukrainian forces in the conflict with Russia. It also includes ten Combat Boat 90 assault craft, 20 G-class landing craft, and unspecified underwater weapons. In addition, Kiev will be provided with financial support so that it can purchase more Swedish infantry fighting vehicles. 

The Swedish Armed Forces “have made the assessment that [the equipment] may be donated if replacement purchases are made soon,” the statement noted. 

Stockholm’s assistance to Kiev has caused a domestic shortage of military personnel, as many service members have been diverted to train Ukrainians, Swedish public broadcaster SVT reported on Monday. It has also drained Sweden’s weapons stockpiles, which may take longer than expected to replenish, according to the broadcaster.  

The Western defense industry does not currently have the capacity to meet the increased demand, leaving clients waiting for contracts to be fulfilled. There has also been a surge in prices. 

“The financial compensation allocated to the [Swedish] Armed Forces is not sufficient to replace item for item,” Chief of Army Dan Lindfors was quoted by SVT as saying. 

The general acknowledged that helping Ukraine has reduced Sweden’s ability to defend itself. The military is investigating how serious the shortages are in terms of additional funding required, SVT added.