10:53 11 Apr 2024

Ukraine's foreign minister aims for seven Patriot batteries to be transferred, considers loan option

Photo: EPA/UPG

Ukraine is actively seeking to obtain seven Patriot air defense system batteries from its allies as quickly as possible and is willing to borrow them if necessary.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said this in an interview with the Washington Post.

The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that "nice and quiet diplomacy didn't work" during the search for air defense for Ukraine.

Therefore, Kuleba decided to rely on a new style of "harder diplomacy." As the head of the Ukrainian agency noted, the Russian attack on Kyiv at the end of March, when the explosions rang out less than a minute after the start of the air raid siren, led to a change in tactics.

"Yes, people may hate me, and I may ruin the relationship. The other part of me is saying diplomacy is all about private relations. But then I told that part to shut up, and the part of me that wanted to speak out started speaking up. We've tried everything, and nothing seems to work," he says.

Kuleba noted that his team has identified more than 100 available Patriots. In particular, some neighboring countries have more than one battery guarding a port or airfield. At the same time, the minister is still focused on getting seven batteries as soon as possible. In particular, it will allow the protection of the largest cities of Ukraine.

According to him, Kyiv has identified four countries in Europe and Asia that have these air defense systems and could immediately hand them over, as assistance from the US Congress has not yet been approved.

The minister even offered countries to lend Patriot to Ukraine, promising to return the batteries as soon as needed. He admitted that he felt deeply disappointed.

"I feel myself hitting the wall with my own head, although I'm a diplomat, and that means I have to dismantle the wall brick by brick. But since this kind of diplomacy doesn't work, I feel like hitting the wall. I just don't understand why it's not happening," the minister said.

It should be noted that on April 10, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba and EU High Representative Josep Borrell discussed the EU's efforts to accelerate military support to Ukraine, in particular the supply of air defense systems and ammunition, during a telephone conversation.

For reference:

As reported, the systems of the Patriot anti-aircraft missile complex successfully repel ballistic missiles of the Russian Federation, which could cause massive losses and destruction.

It is noteworthy that Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain will jointly purchase about 1,000 missiles for the Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems.

In addition, President Zelensky recently stressed that Ukraine needs 25 Patriot air defense systems or their analogs to completely cover the sky over its territory.

It is worth adding that on April 4 in Brussels, during the meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Alliance, Germany initiated the search for available Patriot air defense systems for Ukraine's armed forces.

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