July 7, 2022

US places Patriot missile defense system in Slovakia to help Ukraine swap: NPR

US places Patriot missile defense system in Slovakia to help Ukraine swap: NPR

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (left), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell visit a mass grave in the town of Buca on Friday.

Sergey Sobinsky/AFP via Getty Images


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Sergey Sobinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (left), European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell visit a mass grave in the town of Buca on Friday.

Sergey Sobinsky/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the United States will place a Patriot missile defense system in Slovakia after that country provided the Russian-made S-300 air defense system to Ukraine.

Prime Minister of Slovakia Edward Heeger said earlier today That his country sent a mobile S-300 anti-aircraft system to Ukraine (which has an existing supply of these systems but lost a number of them during the war). Slovakia has previously said it will ship the S-300 systems to Ukraine on the condition that its NATO allies supply it with other weapons.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin He said in a statement The missile defense system will be operated by US service personnel, and both the battery and crew are expected to arrive in Slovakia “in the coming days”. He added that the length of their deployment has yet to be determined, as the United States continues to consult with the Slovak government on more durable air defense solutions.

“The deployment of Patriot capabilities in Slovakia is fully consistent with our previous efforts to enhance NATO’s defensive capabilities and to demonstrate our collective security requirements under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty,” he said. “It complements the NATO multinational combat group in eastern Slovakia, which includes air defense elements from Germany and the Netherlands,” he added.

He said it was evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions had in fact strengthened the alliance he had sought to prevent.

Biden thanked the Slovak government for its actions and said the United States would give it a US Patriot missile system “to enable this transfer and to ensure the continued security of Slovakia.”

He added that while the Russian army may have failed to take Kyiv, it continues to “inflict appalling atrocities” on the Ukrainian people.

“As the Russian military resets to the next phase of this war, I have directed my administration to continue to do its utmost to identify and provide the Ukrainian military with the advanced weapons capabilities it needs to defend its country,” Biden said.

This story originally appeared The morning edition live blog.