Spain to send air defence systems to Ukraine: Nato chief

AFP - [email protected] • 14 Oct, 2022 Updated Fri 14 Oct 2022 08:38 CEST
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a press conference at the end of a two-day meeting of the alliance's Defence Ministers at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on October 13th 2022. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday Spain was sending four medium-range air defence systems to Ukraine, as Western backers scramble to help Kyiv against Russia's missile barrages.


Ukraine's international supporters have held talks at the Nato headquarters in Brussels with the focus on air defences after Moscow unleashed a blitz across Ukraine following a blast at a bridge to the annexed Crimea peninsula.

Stoltenberg said the older Hawk launchers from Madrid would complement more modern systems being supplied by Germany, France and the United States.

"We have seen that when we mobilise, when we call on Nato allies to do more, they're actually doing more, and that's making a huge difference," Stoltenberg said after the Nato defence ministers meet.


US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin thanked Spain for its "very, very rapid response" to Ukraine's latest request for more air defences.

"We would encourage the rest of our allies to dig deep and provide additional capability as well," he said.

There has not yet been any formal public announcement from the Spanish authorities.

Western allies are struggling to work out how to supply more advanced systems to Ukraine as diplomats admit they have precious few to spare.

American Hawk surface-to-air systems originally came into service during the Cold War and are no longer in use by the US military after being superseded by more modern Patriot units.

Spain has refurbished some of its Hawk systems in recent years to extend their shelf life.



AFP 2022/10/14 08:38

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