The request follows a dispute between Poland and Germany over plans to deploy the NATO-standard missile system to Poland in the wake of the accidental missile strike that occurred on Polish territory last month.
Speaking a day before he attends a humanitarian aid conference in Paris on Tuesday, Shymhal warned that Russian strikes on Ukraine would not cease over the winter and that continued attacks would prompt a new “wave of migration toward Europe” during the colder months.
Speaking to French broadcaster LCI, Shymhal repeated Ukraine’s call for Patriot surface-to-air missiles, and also requested more air defense systems from the German and French governments.
According to the prime minister, Ukraine also needs at least one-third of the 50,000 to 70,000 shells that Russia fires at Ukraine on a daily basis.
Only last week, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak confirmed on Twitter that Germany would not provide Patriot missiles to Poland after Polish government figures revealed plans to install the missiles and missile systems in Ukraine.
“After talking to [Germany] MON, I was disappointed to accept the decision to reject the support of [Ukraine],” Błaszczak wrote.
Will It Happen?
At present, the United States is unlikely to send the missiles.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that a U.S. official confirmed there are no current plans to send Patriot missiles to Ukraine, though the same representative did say that discussions are ongoing.
While the main issue with sending advanced missiles to Ukraine has long been that the West is concerned about Russia blaming NATO for hypothetical Ukrainian strikes on Russian soil, there appears to be some movement in Europe on the issue.
On Monday, British Minister of Defence Ben Wallace indicated that he was open to the idea of sending long-range missiles to Ukraine in response to a question from former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons.
According to the same anonymous U.S. official who spoke to the Associated Press, the United States’ primary issue with sending long-range missiles to Ukraine is that the high-tech systems require “significant maintenance and training,” something that the United States is not yet able to provide.
While that may be true, however, there are already several ongoing training projects taking place in Europe – so presumably, training could be facilitated if the United States was truly set on providing the weapons.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.