Slovakia considering transferring S-300 missiles to Ukraine.

Slovakia is ready to provide Ukraine with the S-300 long-range air defense system if NATO supplies them with other equipment to fill the gap.

“We have discussed with the United States , Ukraine and our allies the possibility of deploying, transferring or supplying the S-300 system to Kiev. We are ready to do so, but only if there is a suitable compensation plan. “, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said at a press conference with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin today.

However, Defense Minister Austin declined to comment on whether the US would help Slovakia fill the gap of the S-300 system. “I have no announcement. It is an issue that will be discussed with all of our allies. This is not an issue with the US alone, but with NATO,” he said.

The Slovakian minister made the statement after Ukrainian President Zelensky gave a speech to the US Congress yesterday, in which he emphasized that his country needs the S-300 system. Slovakia, a NATO member state that shares a 98-kilometer border with Ukraine, owns an S-300 air defense system that dates back to the Soviet era and was delivered after the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

A complex of S-300 includes 6 ammunition carriers cum launchers (TELs), each vehicle can carry up to 4 missils, along with command vehicles and radars of all kinds. The 30N6E2 fire control radar can guide 12 missiles at the same time to hit 6 separate targets with a maximum range of 195 km. The Soviet Union began to put the S-300 into service in 1978, now nearly 20 countries around the world own this air defense complex. Russia has all versions of the S-300 with about 2,000 launchers.

NATO is expected to deploy the Patriot air defense system here in an effort to strengthen the alliance’s eastern flank. However, the Slovak government thinks this is not enough, as they do not own the system and it is not clear how long it will be in place.

Slovakia also operates a squadron of MiG-29 fighters and relies on Russia for technical support. Minister Nad said he had discussed with his counterpart Austin about options to fill the gap when the MiG-29 line was removed, adding that Slovakia could receive F-16 fighters from the US in 2024.

US President Joe Biden yesterday announced an additional $800 million security package for Ukraine, including 800 Stinger man-portable air defense missiles, 100 Switchblade armed drones, 9,000 anti-tank weapons, 7,000 infantry guns, 20 million bullets of all kinds and 25,000 sets of bulletproof vests and helmets.

After Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, President Biden vowed to respond if Russia attacked a member of NATO, even if it could lead to World War III. However, he repeated his previous position that Washington would not send forces to fight in Ukraine.

Although President Zelensky repeatedly called for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, the administration of President Joe Biden and his allies refused to do so, fearing the risk of direct conflict between the West and Russia.

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