Ukraine allies pledge air defense against Russian strikes as NATO ministers meet
Ukraine’s main Western allies, including United Kingdom and France, have already assured Kyiv of sending air defence systems as the NATO defence ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday to “discuss how to boost support for Ukraine and replenish allies’ depleted military stockpiles”.
UK has pledged to donate cutting edge AMRAAM air defence missiles to Ukraine that is capable of shooting down cruise missiles, announed UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. The missiles to be used with the NASAMS air defence systems that have been promised by the US, can offer protection from any further Russian missile strikes. “Russia’s latest indiscriminate strikes on civilian areas in Ukraine warrant further support to those seeking to defend their nation. So today, I have authorised the supply of AMRAAM anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine,” Wallace said. “These weapons will help Ukraine defend its skies from attacks and strengthen their overall missile defence alongside the US NASAMS.”
France too has confirmed delivery of its own anti-aircraft defence systems to Ukraine, as announced by French President Emmanuel Macron. Canadian authorities too have said to provide over C$47 million (approx. €$35m) in military aid to Ukraine, with the package including artillery rounds, satellite communications, winter clothing and drone cameras.
A new era of air defence has begun in 🇺🇦. IRIS-Ts from 🇩🇪 are already here. 🇺🇸 NASAMS are coming. This is only the beginning. And we need more. No doubt that russia is a terrorist state.— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) October 11, 2022
There is a moral imperative to protect the sky over 🇺🇦 in order to save our people. pic.twitter.com/jvbXUwDjc8
“Allies have provided air defense, but we need even more. We need different types of air defense, short-range, long-range air defense systems to take out ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, drones, different systems for different tasks,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. “Ukraine is a big country, many cities. So, we need to scale up to be able to help Ukraine defend even more cities and more territory against horrific Russian attacks,” Stoltenberg said to the media as he arrived at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
After the meeting in Brussels, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that they [Ukrainians] they have what’s required to be effective.”
Nuclear deterrence will be a key agenda as NATO allies prepare for their annual “Steadfast Noon” exercise next week. “Nuclear deterrence is a key feature of NATO’s defence and deterrence posture. As such, the allies do conduct these types of exercises on a regular basis. And so this is not out of cycle. It is not in response to what’s happening in Ukraine. This is something that NATO’s would be doing irrespective of what’s happening on the ground inside Ukraine,” US ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said.