Belgium to supply Ukraine with air defense missiles and back German initiative with 200 millions euros

Ludivine Dedonder
Ludivine Dedonder

Belgium will provide Ukraine with air defense missiles from its stockpile and allocate 200 million euros ($214 million) to the German initiative to protect Ukrainian skies, Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said on April 26, RTBF reports.

Dedonder did not specify the number and type of weapons to be provided to Ukraine.

"We will remain ready over the coming weeks to support Ukraine," she said.

Read also: Belgium to allocate $217 million for ammunition purchases outside EU

“Our message remains the same: the day Russia ends its invasion and gives up the illegally occupied territories, the conflict will end. We will continue to reiterate our demand for a cessation of hostilities and a return to political and diplomatic dialogue.”

Germany has launched a global initiative to strengthen Ukraine's air defense. The Netherlands and Denmark are also considering financial support for this initiative.

Additional air defense systems for Ukraine

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

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

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 argued that Russia would not have destroyed the Trypillia Thermal Power Plant if Ukraine had a sufficient number of Patriot systems.

Read also: Belgium to set up $1.8 billion relief fund for Ukraine financed by frozen Russian wealth

Zelenskyy also commented on the strike on Chernihiv on April 17 that killed 18 people and said that "this would not have happened if Ukraine had received enough air defense systems."

EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said on April 18 at a meeting of G7 foreign ministers that EU countries should send their air defense systems to strengthen Ukraine's air defense.

Helmut Rauch, head of Diehl Defence, the arms company that produces the IRIS-T SLM anti-aircraft missile system, said on April 18 that Ukraine would receive the new system "in the next few weeks."

At a meeting in Italy on April 19, G7 foreign ministers pledged to help Ukraine strengthen its air defenses.

The lower chamber of the U.S. Congress, the House of Representatives, adopted a bill providing over $60 billion in support for Ukraine on the evening of April 20.

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the bill providing $61 billion in support for Ukraine on April 24.

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