Slovakia has given its S-300 air defense system to Ukraine as part of its commitment to help the country secure its skies. This comes after repeated calls by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the West for more weaponry to help it repel attacks against the Russians, which is expected to launch another offensive on the Donbas region. It is reported that since the war began Ukraine’s armed forces have lost as many as 40 air defense gun, missile and radar platforms to Russian attacks.

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced that he had decided to donate the S-300 under Article 51 of the UN Charter, which states that:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

This donation comes after Slovakian Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said they would be willing to donate their S-300s if they could be immediately replaced. This was one of the subjects SecDef Austin and Nad discussed during the latter’s visit to Slovakia last March 17.

Heger said that Slovakia is a country that supports peace, freedom, and human rights protection and that it was doing its part in promoting these ideals.

“We believe that this system will help save as many as possible innocent Ukrainians before another aggression of Putin’s regime,” he said. Heger clarified that Slovakia was not joining the armed conflict by donating the weapons and that their own territory would not be left vulnerable with the donation.

Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger visiting Bucha (Prime Minister Eduard Heger). Source:
Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger visiting Bucha (Prime Minister Eduard Heger/Facebook)

This comes after the Slovakian Prime Minister visited Ukraine with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. They met with Zelensky and Prime Minister Denys Smyhal to propose a plan of action for Ukraine. This involved helping the country gain an EU perspective to help with their application to the European Union, helping Ukraine transport grain to the entire world, and increasing Slovak humanitarian aid.

It seems that the talks were very fruitful as the S-300 was sent. The Prime Minister also visited the city of Bucha, where he described the aftermath of the massacre as a “devastated city and dozens of dead civilians who were brutally murdered,” which had affected him deeply. Here, he described Russia as “barbarians” and vowed that Slovakia would aid in investigating all war atrocities in Bucha.