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17 Nov, 2022 18:21

Ukraine asks US for Patriot missiles

Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has urged Washington to speed up deliveries of air defense systems
Ukraine asks US for Patriot missiles

Ukraine has called on the US to provide it with Patriot air defense systems, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Twitter on Thursday. The request was made during a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“I am … convinced that the time for ‘Patriots’ has come,” Kuleba said, adding that the NASAMS air defense systems had already “proved their effectiveness” in Ukraine. The official said that he thanked the US for its “crucial defense assistance” but added that “deliveries of air defense systems to Ukraine need to be sped up.”

Ukraine’s top diplomat also stated that Moscow bears sole responsibility for what he called “missile terror” and its consequences not only in Ukraine but in Poland and Moldova as well.

The statement comes just days after a missile killed two farmers in a village in Poland near the Ukrainian border. Warsaw and Washington both said it was likely the projectile belonged to Kiev’s forces, though Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky pointed the finger at Moscow.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied the accusations, calling them a “provocation” aimed at escalating tensions. The incident occurred during large-scale Russian shelling of Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Russia’s military insists the strikes were carried out only against targets in Ukraine and no closer than 35km (21.7 miles) from the border with Poland.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Western nations against supplying weapons to Kiev, saying it will only prolong the conflict while making the US and its NATO allies de-facto participants.

On Thursday, Blinken confirmed in a Twitter post that he had talked to Kuleba, and said that Washington would “continue to provide Ukraine support to defend itself.” He did not comment on Kiev’s request for Patriots, however.