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Russia announced that it would strike to block the supply of S-300 missiles to Ukraine

According to European news site Euractiv.com on March 18, Russia said it would attack “potential supply chains of S-300 air defense systems” to Ukraine, following Slovakia’s announcement that the country was ready to hand over for Ukraine if they are replaced immediately.

Russia announced that it would strike to block the supply of S-300 missiles to Ukraine
Russia’s S-300 missile system at a military parade. Photo: Euractiv.com

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow “will not allow” the delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems, after Slovakia announced it would supply its missiles to Ukraine.

Lavrov even asserted that any arms supply to Ukraine would be considered a “legitimate target” by Russia.

Earlier, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said Bratislava is ready to supply Ukraine with S-300 air defense systems if NATO allies find replacement weapons. The American Patriot missile system is considered the equivalent of the Soviet-made S-300.

Nad’s statement came amid a visit by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Slovakia.

“We have discussed with the US, Ukraine and other allies the possibility of deploying, sending or delivering the S-300 to Ukraine and Slovakia is ready when we have a suitable alternative source,” Nad said. in a press conference.

However, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to say whether Washington might be willing to “fill the missile gap” of Slovakia.

“I don’t have any announcements this afternoon. These are things that we will continue to discuss with all of our allies. Certainly, this is not just an American problem. It’s a NATO issue,” Austin said.

US President Joe Biden on March 16 announced additional security assistance of $ 800 million, including weapons for Ukraine. But the types of air defense systems deployed in Slovakia, to which the Ukrainian military is familiar, are highly desired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Slovakia is a NATO member, having a complex of S-300 air defense systems, inherited from the Soviet era after the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

The country is expected to receive the Patriot missile defense systems as part of a new NATO task force that has just been agreed to deploy in the country, part of NATO reinforcements on the eastern flank of the country. League.

Slovakia shares a 98-kilometer border with Ukraine. Mr. Lloyd Austin also visited Bulgaria on March 18. Bulgaria also has S-300 systems, but it has made it clear that it has no plans to send any missile systems to Ukraine.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said that any arms supply to Ukraine would mean the country was drawn into the conflict and that such an issue should be decided by Parliament.

Mr. Radev noted that Bulgaria needs the S-300 for its air defenses, especially for the protection of the Kozlodui nuclear power plant.

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