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Romania to donate Patriot missile system to Ukraine

Jun 20, 2024, 5:31:08 PMArticle by Alexandru Cristea
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June 20 (SeeNews) - Romania's Supreme Council of Defence has approved the donation of a Patriot surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russian aggression, the Romanian presidency said on Thursday.

Romania to donate Patriot missile system to Ukraine
Romania's Supreme Council of Defence meeting chaired by president Iohannis. Source: presidency.ro

"Considering the significant deterioration of the security situation in Ukraine, as a result of Russia's constant and massive attacks on civilians and civil infrastructure, especially on the energy infrastructure, as well as the regional consequences of this situation, including on Romania's security, in close coordination with the Allies, Council members decided to donate a Patriot system to Ukraine," the presidency said in a press release.

The Council, chaired by president Klaus Iohannis, decided to donate the system under the condition that negotiations with the Allies, particularly the US, will continue for Romania to acquire a comparable system for national airspace protection. The Council also noted the need to find a temporary solution to address the operational vulnerability resulting from the donation.

"This crucial contribution will bolster our air shield and help us better protect our people and critical infrastructure from Russian air terror. I appreciate Romania's strong leadership and principled support for Ukraine," Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said in a social media post on Thursday.

Romania currently owns four Patriot missile batteries. The US State Department cleared the sale of seven systems in 2017 for an estimated $3.9 billion (3.636 billion euro). Four of the seven Patriot systems were paid for, with the fourth delivered in 2023. In November 2018, Romania signed a deal with Raytheon to buy three additional Patriot systems, bringing the total number of agreed purchases to ten.

Starting in January 2025, Romania will take over the role of commander of the EUFOR Althea military deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a period of twelve months, as per the presidency's statement. During the Council's meeting Iohannis also said that he has informed NATO allies about the withdrawal of his candidacy for the position of Secretary General of the organisation.

The Romanian defence ministry said on Wednesday that Romania will buy three battalion-level 155mm howitzer systems, including 54 K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers from South Korean arms manufacturer Hanwha Aerospace, following a meeting between the two countries' defence ministers. The purchase of the howitzer systems comes on the back of multiple other arms deals meant to strengthen Romania's defence capabilities in the context of Russia's aggression on Ukraine, including acquisitions of Patriot missiles, Sidewinder missiles, and Marte ER missiles.

($ = 0.9323 euro)

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