German lawmakers suggest allies could protect sky over western Ukraine from NATO soil

    WORLD  18 May 2024 - 15:12

    Some German lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties supported the idea of allies defending the airspace over western Ukraine from NATO territory, Kyiv Independent reports citing Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

    FAZ wrote that some experts like Nico Lange from the Munich Security Conference or Lieutenant General Heinrich Brauss, a former NATO deputy secretary general, had suggested shooting down Russian missiles over Ukraine's border regions from Poland and Romania.

    Polish officials have also mentioned the possibility, but no concrete decisions have been presented.

    "Defending the airspace over Ukraine from Poland and Romania should not be ruled out in the long term," said Anton Hofreiter from the co-ruling Green Party.

    The lawmaker nevertheless added that the matter is currently "not under discussion" as allies focus on supplying additional defence aid to Kyiv.

    Berlin has proven itself a leader in air defence support for Ukraine, launching an allied initiative aimed at securing additional air defence systems and pledging its third Patriot to Kyiv.

    Agnieszka Brugger, Hofreiter's colleague from the Green Party, also said it would be correct to "station air defence systems at the borders of the neighbouring countries so that the western parts of Ukraine can also be protected."

    Roderich Kiesewetter from the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU) commented that Western countries could shoot down Russian unmanned aerial vehicles launched at Ukraine.

    "This would relieve the burden on the Ukrainian air defence and allow it to protect the front," Kiesewetter said, comparing it to when the U.S. and other Western countries protected Israel's airspace without becoming a party to the conflict.

    Marcus Faber from the ruling coalition's Free Democratic Party (FDP) also concurred that, in principle, the "airspace over the Ukrainian border regions" could be "protected by air defences on NATO territory."

    Faber noted, however, that air defence systems and missiles are already in short supply, and long-term munition supplies must be ensured.

    "Under these conditions, I think it's possible," Faber added.

    Caliber.Az

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