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EU Foreign Ministers convene to address Ukraine’s Air Defense and Middle East crisis

Foreign ministers from the European Union gathered in Luxembourg on Monday, 22 April 2024, for a critical meeting focusing on two pressing issues: bolstering Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and extending sanctions against Iran. While discussions are expected to encompass the ongoing war in Sudan, particular attention will be given to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

The urgency of the situation in Ukraine has escalated due to Russia’s intensified airstrikes targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure and other key installations. As a result, European governments face mounting pressure to provide Kyiv with essential air defense systems, notably the US-made Patriot missiles.

The momentum in Kyiv received a significant boost over the weekend when the US House of Representatives approved a funding package exceeding $60 billion. However, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are urging European nations to ramp up their efforts in supplying weapons to Ukraine, particularly air defense systems.

In the aftermath of a video conference between NATO defense ministers and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Secretary-General Stoltenberg expressed expectations of forthcoming announcements. He emphasized that NATO has identified existing capabilities across the alliance that could be deployed to support Ukraine, including systems like the French SAMP/T.

Germany stands out as the sole EU member state to pledge an additional Patriot system to Ukraine in response to Kyiv’s appeals. Alongside their Ukrainian counterparts, European defense ministers will also participate in the foreign ministers’ meeting before shifting focus to addressing the crisis in the Middle East.

Source: ANA-MPA