Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger on Friday said the EU member had given Ukraine an S-300 air defence system, adding that it did not mean Slovakia had joined the conflict with Russia.
“I can confirm that the Slovak Republic has donated the S-300 air defence system to Ukraine, following Ukraine’s request for assistance,” Heger posted on Facebook.
“The donation of the system does not mean that the Slovak Republic has become a part of the armed conflict in Ukraine.”
He added that Slovakia was providing the defence system “to Ukraine and its innocent citizens, believing that this system will help save the lives of as many innocent Ukrainians as possible.”
Last month, Bratislava said it would provide the Russian-made anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine only on the condition that it receive a substitute to avoid a NATO security gap.
Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad on Friday said the “obsolete” air defence system would be substituted by Patriot batteries in “a clear strengthening of Slovakia’s defence”.
“The fourth Patriot system battery will arrive in Slovakia next week. Two were provided by the Germans and one by the Dutch, the fourth by our American allies,” he said on Facebook.
“We have delivered the obsolete S-300 system safely to Ukraine.”