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18 Apr, 2024 22:37

Send more Patriots to Ukraine – Germany

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on other NATO members to contribute air defenses to Kiev
Send more Patriots to Ukraine – Germany

NATO members must provide Ukraine with more US-made Patriot air defense systems, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday in Brussels. Berlin has promised to deliver one Patriot system in the near future, in addition to the two it has already sent to Kiev. 

Scholz said he was aiming to promote the idea during “many discussions” at the EU summit held on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We heard that there should now be seven more, one of them is ours and then we hope that six more will be found” by other NATO members, the German chancellor stated. 

Berlin has so far made the “greatest contribution” when it comes to providing Ukraine with Patriot systems, Scholz claimed. He called on others to “make the same decisions.” The US, Germany, and the Netherlands have sent several Patriot launchers to support Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. 

The exact number of Patriots in Ukraine’s possession remains unclear. According to Business Insider, Kiev could have between three and five of the systems. The Russian Defense Ministry has provided evidence that several of the launchers and radars have already been destroyed.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte took on a harsher tone toward nations reluctant to scour their stockpiles for missiles to give Kiev.

“We know that many countries are sitting on large piles of Patriot systems, maybe not wanting to deliver it directly,” he said on Thursday, without naming any names. He offered to buy the systems from any third country and send them to Ukraine.

“We have the money available. It’s crucial,” Rutte added. 

Germany, the Netherlands and Spain are among the few European NATO members that still have Patriot systems in their arsenals, according to Der Spiegel. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has admitted that Berlin’s stockpiles are “pretty much exhausted” when it comes to the US-made air defense system, adding that the West would have to scour the world if it wanted to obtain more of them for Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the US-led bloc was working on sending more air defense systems to Kiev, including Patriots. 

“We have compiled data about the different air defense systems we have in NATO, focused on the Patriot systems. And we are working with allies to ensure that they redeploy some of their systems to Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said during a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Italy. 

Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said he needed 25 Patriot systems, with between six and eight batteries each, to ensure adequate air defense on a nationwide scale.