Ukraine's Military to Receive Double Boost From NATO Allies

Ukraine’s Military to Receive Double Boost From NATO Allies

Ukraine’s military got a boost of more than $530 million from its NATO allies on Friday, thanks to two new aid packages announced by Finland and Norway.

Norway’s government asked its parliament to sign off on sending Ukraine an additional 10 National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) and four fire control centers, totaling around $326 million. The medium-range ground-based air defense system, which was developed in partnership between the Norwegian defense firm Kongsberg and U.S. defense company Raytheon, is designed to target aircraft, cruise missiles and drones.

The new defense package comes in addition to the $30.5 million NASAMS deal that Oslo pledged to Kyiv in December. The first set of Norway-provided NASAMS were pledged to Ukraine in March of last year. Ukraine has also received a handful of the systems from the United States and Lithuania.

Ukrainian servicemen of the Skala battalion take part in a field military exercise in the Donetsk region on February 3. Ukraine’s military received a major boost from two NATO allies on Friday.

GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images
“The Norwegian NASAMS system saves Ukrainian lives and prevents the destruction of buildings and infrastructure,” Norweigian Defense Ministry Bjorn Gram said in a release Friday. “The Russian missile and drone attacks are extensive and brutal, so air defense is absolutely decisive for Ukraine.”

The Finnish Ministry of Defense also announced a $205 million package for Ukraine on Friday. Details regarding the content of the deal, however, were not shared in order to “guarantee the safe delivery of the aid,” the ministry said.

“Nationally and more broadly, new ways to support Ukraine in the long term must be found,” Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Häkkänen said.

The new package brings Finland’s total defense aid for Ukraine to $1.9 billion, its ministry said Friday. As of October, Norway had committed $3.8 billion in defense funding to Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Newsweek reached out to Ukraine’s defense ministry for comment via email on Friday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a thank-you to his Finnish counterpart in a post to X, formerly Twitter, writing that Finland’s “comprehensive and long-term support for Ukraine … ensures our shared victory over the aggressor.”

“I appreciate the implementation of our agreements, as well as President [Sauli] Niinisto’s personal contribution to strengthening the Ukraine-Finland partnership,” Zelensky added.

Ukraine’s defense ministry also thanked Norway for the additional NASAMS package on X, adding, “Air defense systems are crucial to saving the lives of Ukrainians.”

Ukraine’s success in holding off Russia’s invasion has heavily relied on support from its Western allies. The European Union and its member states have pledged $148.5 billion in aid—including military, financial and humanitarian assistance—since the start of the war in February 2022, according to data compiled by the Institute for the Study of War think tank.

At the end of 2023, total U.S. aid to Ukraine reached more than $79 billion. America’s Department of Defense said in a release on Friday that $43 billion of that has included defense capabilities.

Uncommon KnowledgeNewsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.  » …
Read More

0 I like it
0 I don't like it