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NATO Allies Offer Ukraine Five More Patriot Air Defense Systems

Volodymyr Zelenskiy Photographer: Jens Buttner/AFP/Getty Images (Jens Buttner/Photographer: Jens Buttner/AFP/G)

(Bloomberg) -- NATO allies will send five long-range air-defense systems for Ukraine, President Joe Biden said, after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy asked for more help in the wake of stepped-up Russian strikes on his country.

NATO’s latest offer consisted of weapons that had mostly been promised earlier and included a pledge to find more of the systems later this year. The promises came a day after a Russian missile strike on a Kyiv children’s hospital and follow months of assaults by Moscow’s forces that have devastated Ukraine’s energy and other infrastructure.

The US and its partners also promised dozens of shorter-range air-defense systems.

Ukraine “will get this assistance before anyone else gets it,” Biden said in a speech to an event celebrating NATO’s 75th anniversary. “All told, Ukraine will receive hundreds of additional interceptors over the next year, helping protect Ukrainian cities against Russian missiles.”

NATO leaders, who are meeting for a three-day NATO summit in Washington, want to show they’re answering the call from Zelenskiy, who has pressed for more air defense, especially in the aftermath of a Russian barrage that killed dozens of people on Monday.

US Considers Sending Ukraine Another Patriot Missile Battery

Allied nations have struggled to find new systems for Ukraine. One person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations, said that fact reflected how the systems are already accounted for around the world.

The US also confirmed a previous statement that it will re-route missiles that had been committed to other nations to Ukraine instead, giving Zelenskiy’s forces hundreds more interceptors over the next year.

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