14:53 23 May 2024

Germany's effort to bolster Ukraine's air defense falls short – Politico

Germany promised Ukraine air defense systems and gained the support of its allies, but it is currently the sole country that has actually taken concrete action in this regard. Most countries have not followed in Berlin's footsteps.

Politico reports this.

To date, Berlin has handed over three of the 11 batteries of American-made Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Kyiv.

In addition, more than 50 short-range Gepard air defense systems have been delivered to Ukraine, as well as air-to-air missiles designed to protect against ballistic missiles, bombs, and drones attacking Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure.

For a few weeks now, top German politicians have been trying to convince the Allies to follow through on their promise of sending Patriot air and missile defense systems to Ukraine. However, the response from other countries has not been reasonable.

Germany has spent the past month promoting its "Immediate Air Defense Action" initiative. Still, two people familiar with the negotiations said partner nations are unwilling to send Ukraine much-needed batteries.

Although the German initiative includes alternatives such as SAMP/T, NASAMS, HAWK, IRIS-T, or the S-300 air defense systems, the Patriot developed by Raytheon is most effective against attacks. The Patriot's advantages are obvious, and Ukrainian troops are already trained in its use.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg clarified that "there are systems that can be provided to Ukraine." But agreeing on how they will get into the hands of Ukrainian soldiers is not so easy.

Although only some missile systems are sent to the east, countries are making smaller commitments.

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It should be noted that the German government launched an initiative on April 17 to find additional means of air defense that can be transferred to Ukraine. Berlin later reported that discussions were being made with Denmark and the Netherlands to finance the initiative.

Belgium also announced 200 million euros for the German initiative in April, and  Canada pledged more than $55 million in May.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius also announced his intention to purchase three HIMARS rocket launchers from the United States and transfer them to Ukraine.

Moreover, at the 22nd meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group ("Ramstein format"), which took place the day before, several countries expressed their support for Germany's initiative to find air defense equipment for Kyiv.

According to information, Belgium, Denmark, Canada, the Netherlands, and Norway will finance the initiative to find air defense equipment for Ukraine.

In addition, Belgium, Great Britain, Spain, Lithuania, Romania, the USA, and France promised to help with "equipment and missiles" (probably not necessarily within the scope of the German initiative), and Latvia expressed a desire to join the initiative.

However, Politico reported that Germany's air defense initiative for Ukraine failed because most countries did not follow Berlin's example.

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