Spain and Greece refused to transfer the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, but the Spanish will provide missiles to them

Liza Brovko

Spain refuses to transfer the Patriot air defense system to Ukraine, but will provide a small number of missiles to them, writes El Pais with reference to sources. The countryʼs Ministry of Defense does not want to give away the systems because the Spanish Armed Forces are understaffed. Spain has three Patriot batteries that it bought from Germany in 2004 and 2014.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of the week, the Greek media wrote that Greece could provide Ukraine with at least one Patriot complex if the US assured the country of help against any threat from Turkey. Officially, Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis says that air defense will not be provided.

"We are not going to send either Patriot or S-300 to Ukraine, although we were asked to do so," he said.

This news came after the publication of the Financial Times that Greece and Spain are under special pressure from the EU and NATO to provide Ukraine with additional air defense systems. During the summit in Brussels last week, EU leaders personally called on the Prime Ministers of Spain and Greece Pedro Sanchez and Kyriakos Mitsotakis to hand over part of their air defense systems to Ukraine, as they do not need this equipment as much as Ukraine.

The authorities of Ukraine have been calling on allies for several weeks in a row to help with air defense systems and ammunition for them. There was a shortage in the troops, due to which Russian missile and drone attacks began to penetrate the defenses.

  • Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia in February 2022, Western countries have provided Ukraine with various air defense systems, all missiles can be shot down only by American Patriot air defense systems, of which the Ukrainian military has only three. At the end of February 2024, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the transfer of ten Patriot air defense systems to Kyiv would radically change the situation in the war. In April, he said that Ukraine needs 25 Patriot systems to completely close the sky from air attacks. Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba repeatedly called on foreign partners to transfer 5-7 Patriot systems to Ukraine and called this number the minimum necessary.