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Friday, June 14, 2024

Sweden will donate $1.23 billion in military aid to Ukraine

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Swedish government said Wednesday that it will donate military aid to Ukraine worth 13 billion kronor ($1.23 billion) in the largest help package Sweden has so far donated.

“It consists of equipment that is at the top of Ukraine’s priority list,” Deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch said. It included air defense, artillery ammunition and armored vehicles.

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Sweden’s Defense Minister Pål Jonsson reiterated that the country has ruled out for now sending any Swedish-built JAS 39 Gripen jets to Ukraine, saying the focus on the Ukrainian side is on implementing the F-16 program.

Several countries have said they want to donate F-16 fighter jets. On Tuesday, Belgium pledged 30 F-16 jets to Ukraine.

Jonsson said Sweden “is still working on possibly being able to contribute with the Gripen system later.”

The donation also includes two Swedish-made SAAB ASCC airborne early warning and control airplanes, saying that it will have the “greatest effect on the Ukrainian air defense” because it will complement and reinforce the promised donations of American F-16 fighter jets, Jonsson said.

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“You can identify incoming cruise missile, you can identify drones and identify targets both on land and at sea,” he said.

“The overall assessment is that a donation of the ASC 890 radar reconnaissance and command aircraft would be the most impactful for the Ukrainian Air Force right now,” Jonsson added.

The support package will be the 16th from Sweden since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. (AP)


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