Ambassador advocates joint air defense for western Ukraine

Patriot air defense system
Patriot air defense system

The idea of "closing the skies" over western Ukraine using air defense systems in Poland is in line with international law and similar to the military support already provided, Ambassador to Germany Oleksii Makeiev wrote in an op-ed for the German newspaper Die Zeit published on June 4.

This idea was previously considered at the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, but it was then "taken off the table" as "not going to work," he said. Kyiv is now revisiting this idea and discussing it with allies for several reasons.

First, it is now seen as feasible because in April, several other countries helped Israel repel a massive Iranian attack by shooting down drones, similar to those Russia uses against Ukraine daily.

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Second, Russia has intensified its attacks and launched a new offensive, moving closer to the EU.

Makeiev clarified that by implementing this strategy, the Western allies would not be "declaring war on Russia" or crossing any so-called "red lines."

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"If we suddenly stop now and do not take any further steps, it will become clear that the path we have taken so far leads nowhere. The Russian response is well known: Russia's borders do not end anywhere," the ambassador said.

On May 27, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov, addressing the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, called on neighboring countries to enforce a no-fly zone over western Ukraine.

He also urged NATO members to allow the use of Western weapons against military targets in Russian territory.

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"Russia is trying to destroy everything it cannot capture, continuing to kill and terrorize peaceful civilians and innocent people," said Umerov.

"To stop this, I called for permission to use Western weapons at longer distances."

Earlier, German newspaper Bild reported that NATO is discussing the possibility of intercepting Russian missiles and drones over western Ukraine. Poland is leading the initiative for this "expanded air defense," but no final decision has been made yet.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine