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FT: Ukraine, US, Israel in talks to send up to 8 Patriot systems to Kyiv

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The U.S., Israel and Ukraine are in negotiations on providing Ukraine with up to eight Patriot air defense systems, the Financial Times (FT) reported on June 27, citing five unnamed sources familiar with the talks.

The outlines of the deal, which is not yet finalized, have been discussed between ministers and senior officials of the three nations, FT’s sources said. It may include Patriot systems being sent from Israel to the U.S. and then to Ukraine.

The reports came days after Washington announced it had reprioritized near-term planned deliveries of foreign military sales to other countries, particularly Patriot and NASAMS missiles, to go to Ukraine instead.

Kyiv has been calling on its partners to provide additional air defenses as Russia intensifies its strikes against Ukrainian population centers and infrastructure.  Ukraine operates at least three Patriot systems provided by the U.S., the Netherlands, and Germany, with Berlin and Bucharest recently pledging to deliver two more systems.

“Ukraine continues to work with various countries around the world on obtaining additional Patriot systems,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the FT, without confirming the talks.

The transfer of eight other systems could significantly strengthen Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, potentially protecting the country’s largest cities while also being used to cover key hotspots on the battlefield.

Israel announced in April that it would start decommissioning eight Patriot batteries that are over 30 years old to replace them with more modern systems. However, the batteries used in the Israel-Hamas war have not yet been deactivated due to fears of escalation, the FT wrote.

Israel has largely avoided taking sides in Russia’s war against Ukraine, and has not provided any meaningful military aid to Ukraine. It has a long-standing relationship with Russia, complicated by the significant Russian diaspora in Israel.

Kyiv voiced support for Israel after it came under a deadly attack by the Hamas militant organization in October 2023, while Hamas reportedly used Russia- and Iran-made arms in the war.  

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