Spain to provide Patriot missiles for Ukraine’s air defense

Kiev will receive munitions for the US-made air defense system, Madrid has announced

Spain will supply Ukraine with Patriot missiles, Defense Minister Margarita Robles confirmed on Friday, amid outside pressure to provide the weapons.
Robles made the announcement during a virtual meeting of the so-called Ramstein Group, which comprises Ukraine’s Western backers. A statement from the Defense Ministry in Madrid added that an unspecified number of munitions for the US-made missile system will arrive in Ukraine within the next four days.
The Spanish defense chief did not mention anything about deliveries of actual Patriot batteries to Ukraine. Each system consists of a phased array radar, an engagement control station, computers, power generating equipment, and up to eight missile launchers.

During an address to the Ramstein Group, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky insisted that Kiev needs “at least seven” Patriot batteries from its Western backers to be able to repel Russian missile attacks.
In late March, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at least five Patriots operated by Ukraine had been destroyed by Moscow’s forces since the start of the year. Spain is among six European nations – including Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Greece – that have Patriot systems in service.
While Berlin has promised to supply another Patriot system to Ukraine, taking its donated tally to three, Poland and Greece insisted earlier this week that they have no air defense systems to spare.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated on Friday that Washington is also unable to provide Kiev with more air defense systems. “The US Patriot systems right now are being deployed around the world, including in the Middle East, to protect US troops,” Sullivan told MSNBC.

Russia has warned that deliveries of foreign weapons systems to Kiev will not prevent Moscow from achieving its military goals, but will merely prolong the fighting and could increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to officials in Moscow, the provision of arms, the sharing of intelligence, and the training of Ukrainian troops means that Western nations have already become de-facto parties to the conflict.