The United States is working with its allies and partners to try to get long-range air defense systems into Ukraine as Russia continues its military operation in the country, a senior US defense official said on Monday.
“We are continuing to work with allies and partners to try to get long-range air defense systems into Ukraine and Slovakia’s S-300 announcement was in lieu of some of the work that we’ve done,” the official told a press briefing.
Earlier, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger had confirmed during his visit to Kiev that Slovakia has provided Ukraine with an S-300 air defense system to help the country amid Russia’s special military operation.
Earlier in the day, Heger together with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Kiev to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The meeting is taking place ahead of the Saturday donors conference in Warsaw.
“I would like to confirm that #Slovakia has provided #Ukraine with an air-defense system S-300. #Ukrainian nation is #bravely defending its sovereign country and us too. It is our duty to help, not to stay put and be ignorant to the loss of human lives under #Russia’s aggression,” Heger wrote on Twitter.
I would like to confirm that #Slovakia has provided #Ukraine with an air-defence system S-300. #Ukrainian nation is #bravely defending its sovereign country and us too. It is our duty to help, not to stay put and be ignorant to the loss of human lives under #Russia’s agression.
— Eduard Heger (@eduardheger) April 8, 2022
In March, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said that Bratislava might provide Ukraine with an S-300 air defense system, but only if Slovakia is offered an adequate replacement or security assurances. In recent weeks, three Patriot systems were deployed in Slovakia as part of NATO forces.
The NATO contingent, which is being deployed in Slovakia to strengthen the eastern flank of the alliance, is expected to include 700 troops from Germany, 600 from the Czech Republic, 400 from the United States, 200 from the Netherlands, 100 from Poland and 100 from Slovenia.
Czechoslovakia received S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems from the USSR in 1990. The systems were handed over to the Slovak army after the disintegration of the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.
The S-300 air defense system is capable of hitting various targets at distances of up to 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) and at altitudes of up to 27 kilometers (16.7 miles). The primary purpose of the system is to defend military and civilian strategic facilities.
- Via Sputnik News Agency
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