US Diverts Patriot Missiles Ordered by Allies to Ukraine

The US is halting deliveries of key air defense missiles to allies, directing shipments to Ukraine instead in a bid to help bolster the country amid the continuing aerial barrage from Russia, the White House said.

Bloomberg
Published20 Jun 2024, 11:08 PM IST
US Diverts Patriot Missiles Ordered by Allies to Ukraine
US Diverts Patriot Missiles Ordered by Allies to Ukraine

The US is halting deliveries of key air defense missiles to allies, directing shipments to Ukraine instead in a bid to help bolster the country amid the continuing aerial barrage from Russia, the White House said.

Raytheon Co.’s Patriot and NASAMS surface-to-air missiles will both be redirected to Ukraine as part of a “difficult but necessary decision” to reprioritize planned deliveries, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Thursday.

The move comes as some European countries, including Spain and Greece have so far balked at requests to transfer their systems to Ukraine. But Kyiv has described air defense systems - and particularly advanced Patriots - as crucial for protecting population centers and critical infrastructure, including the country’s badly battered electrical grid. 

“If any of our other partners were ever in a situation similar to Ukraine’s, we would go to extraordinary lengths to support their security as well,” Kirby said. “This decision demonstrates our commitment to supporting our partners when they’re in existential danger.”

The new missiles are expected to arrive in the coming weeks and should provide Ukraine with capabilities through the remainder of this and the next fiscal year, Kirby said. Deliveries to other countries could resume within 16 months, and all orders are expected to be eventually fulfilled. 

Germany, Poland, and Romania are among the nations with outstanding orders for the Patriots, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the decision to divert orders.

“We’re going to make sure we give Ukraine the critical air defense capabilities they need now and into the future, and we’re going to keep working with our allies and partners to make sure that they, too, get the air defense capabilities that they ordered,” Kirby said.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Romania had also agreed to provide his country with an additional Patriot system.

“This crucial contribution will bolster our air shield and help us better protect our people and critical infrastructure from Russian air terror,” Zelenskiy said in a post on X.

The move comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Wednesday in Pyongyang to sign a new mutual defense pledge that could see North Korea provide additional military assistance for Russia’s war in Ukraine. 

“We’ve been talking about this, and warning about a burgeoning defense relationship between these two countries, now for many months,” Kirby said.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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First Published:20 Jun 2024, 11:08 PM IST
HomeNewsWorldUS Diverts Patriot Missiles Ordered by Allies to Ukraine

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