Sweden pledges $1.25 bln in military aid to Ukraine amid deadly Russian attacks

Sweden on Wednesday pledged military aid of 13.3 billion kronor ($1.25 billion) to Ukraine, as Kiev struggles with multiple delays of vital Western military support in the third year of war with Russia.

The Scandinavian country, which formally joined NATO in March, will donate a range of material, including ASC 890 surveillance aircraft, Rb 99 medium-range air-to-air missiles and artillery ammunition, and all of its model 302 armoured infantry fighting vehicles.

"Sweden is supporting Ukraine with its 16th aid package, its largest to date worth 13.3 billion kronor," Deputy Prime Minister Ebba Busch told reporters.

Defense Minister Pal Jonson, also participating in the press conference via video link, added that the ASC 890 surveillance aircraft would be particularly useful for Ukraine's air defense, enabling it "to identify incoming cruise missiles and drones and identify targets both on the ground and at sea".

Stockholm has not excluded sending its Gripen fighter jets to Ukraine, but on Tuesday said it has been asked by the air force coalition for Ukraine to hold off as they prioritise the introduction of U.S.-made F-16s into the Ukrainian air force.

Sweden has in recent days announced both a 650-million-kronor aid package to secure Ukraine's energy supply, a sector that has been targeted by Russian strikes, as well as a framework civilian and military aid package of 75 billion kronor over three years, from 2024 to 2026, to support Kiev "as long as necessary".

The pledges bring Sweden's overall aid to Ukraine since Russia's invasion in 2022 to more than 100 billion kronor, making Kiev the biggest recipient of Swedish aid.

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