Italy to boost Ukraine’s air defense with new military aid package, SAMP/T systems – FM Tajani

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani
Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani

Italy is ready to transfer a new military aid package with SAMP/T systems to strengthen Ukraine's air defense, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin on June 11, according to news agency Interfax-Ukraine.

"I fully agree with Dmytro Kuleba when he says that the primary strategy for recovery and reconstruction is to protect Ukrainian infrastructure and Ukrainian buildings with the help of air defense systems," he said.

“And that is why I want to inform you that Italy is ready to send a new military package with SAMP/T for the air defense of Ukraine.”

Italy has also agreed on a new aid package worth 140 million euros ($150 million) for the development of Ukraine's infrastructure, the diplomat added.

"There is a second piece of news," said Tajani.

Read also: Italy to send Ukraine another SAMP/T anti-air system

“A new package of 140 million euros ($150 million) for infrastructure, railways, healthcare, agri-food sector, humanitarian sector, as well as demining. This is a new, latest decision of the Italian government.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said earlier that his country would soon transfer the third Patriot air defense system, IRIS-T and Gepard systems, missiles, and ammunition to Ukraine.

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Additional air defense systems for Ukraine

Western partners do not want to give Ukraine "five or seven" Patriots, although they have more than 100, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on April 3.

25 Patriot systems or their equivalents are needed to fully protect Ukraine's airspace from Russian attacks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on April 6.

Kuleba said on April 12 that Ukraine is currently in active negotiations with its allies to supply two Patriot batteries and one SAMP-T. The Foreign Ministry also added that Russia would not have destroyed the Trypillia Thermal Power Plant if Ukraine had had a sufficient number of Patriot systems.

G7 foreign ministers promised to help Ukraine strengthen its air defense at an April 19 meeting in Italy.

Read also: Italy ramps up support for Ukraine with new air defense systems ahead of G7

Bloomberg reported on May 15 that the United States is considering providing Ukraine with another battery of Patriot air defense systems to strengthen the country's air defense.

The New York Times wrote on May 21 that Zelenskyy suggested that NATO countries might support the transfer of seven Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine at a summit in Washington in July.

Spain and Greece have so far refused to relocate their systems, although Madrid is sending missiles. Poland has also refused to transfer one of its batteries.

The Dutch Ministry of Defense announced on May 28 that the country plans to assemble and transfer Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine as soon as possible.

The German Foreign Ministry announced on May 31 that Germany will provide Ukraine with Patriot SAMs along with a new military aid package worth 500 million euros ($537 million).

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