The United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, announced this Friday the deployment in Slovakia of a Patriot anti-missile battery, in the face of the Russian threat due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Lloyd reported in a statement that this step has been taken at the request of the Bratislava authorities and added that the anti-missile system will be manned by US soldiers.
“We expect this battery and its crew to arrive in the next few days.the duration of the deployment has not yet been set, as we continue to consult with the Slovak Government on more permanent air defense solutions,” he stressed.
Two days after the start of russian invasion of ukraineOn February 24, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad revealed that his country was going to request the deployment of a contingent of 1,200 NATO soldiers on its territory, along with a Patriot missile defense system.
Austin said the deployment of the Patriot system to Slovakia “aligns perfectly” with previous efforts to improve “NATO’s defensive capabilities” and demonstrate the collective security requirements for Article 5 of the Atlantic Charter.
He stressed that the anti-missile battery complements the NATO multinational group in eastern Slovakia, which “includes air defense elements from Germany and the Netherlands.”
On the other hand, the Pentagon chief praised “the generosity” of the Bratislava government for providing Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft batteries to Ukraine.
“I thank the government of Slovakia for their willingness to help Ukraine with its long-range air defense needs,” Austin said.
During Thursday’s NATO meeting in Brussels, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba called on NATO countries to deliver arms to kyiv to fight Russia as quickly as possible, in a matter “of days, not weeks.” “, because otherwise the support “will come too late”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded that the allies “are prepared to provide support to Ukraine and recognize the urgency”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recalled that Since the beginning of the invasion, your country has “continuously” provided the most effective systems.