The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is in Bratislava, Slovakia, and had a press interview with his Slovak counterpart, Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad.
Another journalist asked about the option of supplying S-300 systems to UkraineIt is a long-range surface-to-air missile system designed by the Soviet Union.
“What has been successful for the Ukrainian forces is that they have really been able to prevent this from happening,” Austin said Russia from establishing air supremacy and they have done so through the effective use of air defense systems, both medium-range and short-range. “
Casual observers may be a little surprised to hear him say that Russia has not demonstrated its air supremacy when it bombs Ukraine from the air so brutally. Zelensky also clearly believes that there is indeed more to NATO than he can do. And more weapons are under discussion, as we wrote.
However, Austin continued, “So our goal has been to continue to strengthen those things that have worked with Ukrainian forces. So we are talking to a number of our allies and partners to get as much capabilities as possible to continue to help.”
Austin was asked about the long-range missile systems Russia uses to attack Ukraine and what he discusses with allies about alternatives to the S-300, in order to help Ukraine in the “long-range arena”.
Austin said, “The systems that the Russians are using…they use a lot of rockets and missiles and artillery. There are a number of things that can be used to counter that. We see that the drones have been very effective, and we also saw that having the ability to conduct counterfire with rockets and artillery is It’s also very effective so I think we’ll increasingly see Ukrainian forces turn to those methods to counter that.”
“The missiles, or actually cruise missiles, that you mentioned are launched from air platforms, I think you know those missiles were actually launched from inside Russia, so a no-fly zone would not prevent this activity.”
Nad said the supply of the S-300 systems is under discussion and there is a willingness as long as there is a backfill to ensure the security of NATO and the territories of individual members by replacing the systems given to Ukraine.
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