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Biden announces NATO effort to supply Ukraine with air defense systems

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the United States would surge air defense systems to Ukraine along with a handful of NATO allies.

Ukraine has frequently and desperately stressed its need for both additional air defense systems and interceptors given Russia’s aerial attacks often targeting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure.

Biden announced this joint venture during remarks at the NATO summit where he also honored outgoing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg with the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S.

The U.S., the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Romania will provide Ukraine with five long-range air defense systems including an additional Patriot battery, according to a joint statement from the leaders of each country. Additionally, they plan to send Ukraine “dozens of tactical air defense systems.”

“We also welcome NATO’s work to support Ukraine’s efforts to develop a NATO-interoperable integrated air and missile defense architecture,” the statement continued. “Our message to Moscow and the world is clear: Our support for Ukraine is strong and unwavering.”

Dozens of Ukrainians were killed in several strikes on Monday that targeted multiple Ukrainian cities. A senior NATO official warned that Russia could carry out a similar attack, a multipronged large-scale aerial attack, again this week in juxtaposition with the NATO summit.

“It’s a great way, I think, in Russia’s calculus, to draw a split screen between NATO, the NATO summit, and Russia continuing to give the impression they’re making progress in Ukraine,” the official said. “So I think we should continue to expect to see large strikes like this or other events that are headline grabbing.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER 

The Biden administration has already made the decision to prioritize Ukraine’s needs ahead of other allies who have purchased military equipment from the U.S. Despite all the U.S. efforts to enable Ukraine to win the war, the administration has not changed its policy on allowing Ukraine to use U.S.-provided weapons to hit targets deep within Russian territory even in the aftermath of Monday’s attack.

“There’s been no change in our policy. You saw the president several weeks ago gave guidance to Ukraine that they can use U.S.-supplied weapons to strike targets just over the border. That’s still the case,” National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said.

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