Ukraine waiting for US help in strengthening air defense system, upgrading military plane fleet
Ukraine hopes that defense cooperation with the United States would be expanded, including the U.S. help in strengthening of the air defense system and upgrading the military plane fleet of the Air Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak has said.
"Over the years of the war ... The United States has provided us with assistance for $800 million. The year 2018 will be particularly sensitive. I hope it will significantly improve the level of combat readiness of the troops," he said in an interview with obozrevatel.ua.
The defense minister also optimistically evaluated the prospects for building up Ukrainian-U.S. defense cooperation. According to him, at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State James Mattis in February, "we saw that our U.S. colleagues are ready to expand cooperation."
Answering the question about which weapons, in addition to the Javelin medium range anti-tank guided weapon, Ukraine "asked the United States for at the meeting," he said: "We need to improve the level of readiness of our air forces, air defense."
Speaking about the priorities of rearmament with the aim of increasing the combat readiness of the Armed Forces, Poltorak also said: "Today we must focus our attention on several areas: the creation of air defense complexes, ramp-fire systems, artillery systems, modern anti-tank weapons and electronic warfare."
"All these components ensure success in conducting military operations," he said.