Ukraine Now On Top Of List To Receive American Air Defense Capabilities, State Dept Says

Ukraine Now On Top Of List To Receive American Air Defense Capabilities, State Dept Says

The Biden administration said on Thursday it is moving Ukraine ahead of the queue among the list of U.S.-allies who were slated to receive air defense missiles, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

The U.S. will “reprioritize” the deliveries of Patriots and NASAM Systems missiles planned for a group of other countries so that the munitions coming off the production line will instead go to Ukraine, the White House announced Thursday morning.

The deliveries to Ukraine will begin this summer, and it was not immediately clear how many countries are impacted. The move comes as Kyib has pleaded with its supporters to send at least seven Patriot missile systems to defend against Russian assaults that are pummeling the country and targeting energy infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky already thanked President Joe Biden for the move. “I am deeply grateful to [President Biden] and the United States for prioritising Ukraine in the delivery of air defenses that we critically need to defeat Russian attacks,” Zelensky posted on X.

When asked by TURAN correspondent what triggered the decision, State Department's spokesperson Matthew Miller told a daily briefing that, it was because "of the dire need that Ukraine has and the dire threat that Ukraine faces"

"We’ve seen the Russian military targeting Ukrainian cities.  We’ve seen them targeting energy infrastructure, making clear that they want to turn the lights off and turn the heat off when winter rolls back around. And so it has been clear to us that we needed to do something to increase Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, and we have been engaged with our allies and partners about how to do that," Miller said.

Asked if it was fair to also expect Washington's reprioritizing F-16 training slot, Miller quoted Secretary Blinken as saying that "we always adapt and adjust our policy based on the battlefield realities."

"And so we look at what Ukraine needs and then we look at how we can meet those needs – whether through actions that the U.S. is taking, or whether actions that our allies and partners are taking.  And we look to provide them the best equipment, the best of training – best training that we can as quickly as we can provide iAnd when the United States can’t do it or when there’s another country that can do it better, we look to another country to do it," he concluded.

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