Possible transfer of Patriot SAM batteries from U.S. to Ukraine diplomatically complicated, says FM
Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:REUTERS/Cindy Liu)
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had a ‘patriotic’ talk with his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba revealed in an interview with Orest Sokhar, the editor-in-chief of Ukrainian outlet Obozrevatel, on Dec. 16. He was responding to a question on the possibility of Ukraine obtaining U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems – a repeated request from Ukraine to its Western partners since the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
"There is some information, but we left [the right to disclose this information] to the White House," Kuleba said to Sokhar.
He added the Patriot question is the most complicated issue that Zelenskyy’s diplomatic team has dealt with.
"For now, I can say only two things,” Kuleba clarified.
“First, the last talk between President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President Joe Biden was really 'patriotic'. Second, there is nothing impossible. All impossible things are possible with careful and persistent effort in all directions. But, of course, we should always wait for official reports... I have no doubts that it will happen, sooner or later.”
The presidents of the U.S. and Ukraine recently spoke on Dec. 11.
On Dec. 16, after journalists asked Biden if the U.S. had plans to transfer Patriot systems to Ukraine, his answer was: “You’ll hear in a few minutes,” though he did not follow up.
Earlier, CNN reported that the Biden administration was finalizing plans to send Patriots to Ukraine and could announce the decision within a week (until Dec. 18). According to the Associated Press, a single battery may be sent to the country.
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