Senior Pentagon official says ‘all capabilities are on the table’ when it comes to military aid to Kyiv
The US government is considering whether to supply Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine’s armed forces, the Defense Ministry said, weeks after kyiv explicitly requested the expensive weapon system.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, an unnamed senior Pentagon official was asked if Washington intended to ship Patriots to Ukraine, but simply replied: “I’m just going to say all abilities are on the table.”
Pressed on whether this would include the Patriot missiles, the official acknowledged that the weapon was “one of the air defense capabilities being considered” by the Joe Biden administration.
Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder later expanded on those remarks in a separate press conference, saying that while air defense is a “priority” for Ukraine and that Washington is currently discussing a “great variety of abilities” there are no immediate plans to transfer the Patriot batteries. He suggested that might change later, however, saying these guns aren’t “plug in and use” and would require significant training and maintenance support.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also highlighted the possibility of shipping Patriots to Ukraine during an alliance meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday, but also pointed to maintenance and training complications. .
Moscow has strongly opposed the deployment of patriots and any NATO support personnel to Ukraine, with Russian Security Council deputy chief Dmitry Medvedev warning that such expeditions would become “legitimate targets” for Russian forces.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba first issued a request for the air defense system following talks with his US counterpart earlier this month, saying “I am…convinced that the time of the ‘Patriots’ has come.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken later confirmed the talks, but made no mention of the Patriot missiles.
While several allies have supplied kyiv with a large number of lighter and more portable anti-aircraft systems, such as US-made Stinger missiles and Polish Thunderbolts, Ukraine has repeatedly called for heavier air defenses . To date, only a few countries have responded to these requests, with Washington recently providing National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS), while Slovakia previously transferred its only S-300 platform on the condition that the Pentagon provide it. replaced by a Patriot Battery.
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