US kicks off preparations for sending Patriot battery to Ukraine, says FM Kuleba

4 January, 03:41 PM
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:@DmytroKuleba / Twitter)

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:@DmytroKuleba / Twitter)

The United States has begun preparations for the transfer of the Patriot missile defense systems to Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during a briefing on Jan. 4.

“Of course, the issue of weapons remains a key one,” he said.

“Our last year ended with a revolutionary decision to provide Ukraine with US Patriot systems, which was agreed upon by the leaders of Ukraine and the United States, Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Joe Biden. We greatly appreciate this step by the United States. We look forward to deploying the Patriot systems as soon as possible.”

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According to Kuleba, the Ukrainian government is also working on obtaining other Western weapons, primarily tanks and other armored vehicles.

Back in December 2021, before Russia’s full-scale invasion, U.S. cable channel CNN reported that Ukraine had asked the United States to provide the Patriot systems.

However, even after Russian massive attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022, the transfer of the Patriot systems to Ukraine was in question.

In particular, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated the need for guarantees that already delivered systems were effective and functioning, as they need ammunition and spare parts.

On Dec. 13, the Voice of America news agency reported that the Pentagon had confirmed plans to transfer the requested missile systems to Ukraine. To this, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Patriots would “definitely” become a target for the Russians.

The White House officially announced on Dec. 21 that it would transfer the Patriot systems to Ukraine as part of a new military aid package.

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