The first part of NATO’s Patriot air defense system began to arrive in Slovakia on Sunday, said Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad.
US-made systems have begun to arrive in Central European countries— —Shares 100km (62 miles) border with Ukraine— —According to the Defense Minister, it is a deployment from NATO’s partner countries, and the deployment will continue in the future.
“We are happy to see that the first unit responsible for deploying the Patriot anti-aircraft defense system is gradually coming to the territory of the Republic of Slovakia,” Nad said. statement On social media.
NATO’s Patriot Air Defense System, operated by German and Dutch troops, will be first deployed at Sliač Airport in central Slovakia to strengthen the defense of NATO members as Russia invades Ukraine.
Nad thanked both Germany and the Netherlands for “a truly responsible alliance decision to accept our request to radically strengthen the defense of the Slovak Republic.”
“The system will be temporarily deployed at the Sriak Air Force Base. Further deployment areas are being considered … so the security umbrella covers the largest possible part of the Slovak territory,” Nad continued.
Nad said the Patriot system would further strengthen the defense of the airspace of the Republic of Slovakia and would not replace the Soviet-era S-300 system operated by Slovakia, which is part of both NATO and the EU. rice field.
However, he said the S-300 system is old and has “insufficient functionality” and “de facto reliance on the Russian Federation”.
The Patriot air defense system Is a long-range, all-weather air defense system that can be used at all altitudes, capable of shooting down tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and advanced aircraft.
Slovakia said on March 17 that it was ready to send the Soviet-era S-300 air defense system “immediately” to Ukraine.
In a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Defense Minister Nad added that the S-300 is Slovakia’s only strategic air defense system, creating a “NATO security gap” when handed over to Ukraine. ..
However, Russia has vowed to prevent the transfer of such air defense systems to Kyiv, and said it may target Western arms supplies.
Sergeĭ Viklov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the country, Interview with Russia today Doing so is “illegal” and prohibits the transfer of Soviet or Russian-made systems to a third country, citing intergovernmental agreements and user certificates.
Experts point out that Russia has severely violated international law in its invasion of Ukraine, although there are usually contractual restrictions on the re-export of the types of weapons mentioned by Viklov.
Turkey’s foreign minister said in an interview released Sunday that the two countries are approaching an agreement on “significant” issues, but so far peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have made little progress.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevrut Chabsogur told local media that “if the two camps do not step back from their current positions, they are hoping for a ceasefire.”