US sends Patriot missile system to Slovakia
“This deployment of Patriot capabilities to Slovakia aligns perfectly with our previous efforts to strengthen NATO’s defensive capabilities and to demonstrate our collective security requirements under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty,” said Austin.
The system “also complements NATO’s multinational battlegroup in eastern Slovakia, which includes air defense elements from Germany and the Netherlands”, he added.
Austin’s statement came just hours after Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced that his country would provide its S-300 air defense system to Ukraine as that country’s troops battle invading Russian forces.
“The nation of Ukraine bravely defends its sovereign country and so do we,” Heger said. tweeted. “It is our duty to help, not to stand still and ignore the loss of life under #Russia [aggression].”
President Joe Biden thanked Slovakia for providing Ukraine with the S-300, saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “personally raised” the issue of this air defense system in their conversations.
Sending Patriot missile system ‘will enable this transfer and ensure Slovakia’s continued security’, Biden said in a press release.
The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that the Biden administration has authorized a new $100 million in security assistance “to meet an urgent Ukrainian need for additional Javelin anti-armour systems.”
According to the Pentagon, the latest security aid is the sixth removal of equipment from Defense Ministry stockpiles for Ukraine since last August, and it comes after the ministry announced $300 million in security assistance last Friday.
The Pentagon on Thursday provided more details about its security assistance to Ukraine, saying it had committed more than 1,400 Stinger anti-aircraft systems, 5,000 Javelin anti-armour systems, 7,000 other anti-armour systems and hundreds of air systems without Switchblade driver.