Swedish prime minister says he's not ruling anything out for defense support to Ukraine
Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson visited Kyiv on Wednesday, where he did not rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine but cautioned that action must be taken through a coordinated, international coalition, News.az reports citing CNN.
"We don't exclude anything right now," Kristersson said in a joint news conference alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "But at the same time, we also acknowledge the fact that we need an international coalition to do further steps."
Kristersson added that he fully understands Ukraine's case for asking that allies "do not take too long" to supply defense assistance. But he also noted the "very special situation" that Sweden is in as it applies for NATO membership alongside Finland.
"We have very obvious reasons to be very careful with our own defense right now," Kristersson said. "We will do everything we can to support Ukraine and we will do it in a way that doesn't adventure or risk the Swedish ability to defend ourselves — because that is a core competence for a NATO applicant country to uphold."
Kristersson also noted Sweden's "steadfast support for Ukraine's EU integration," adding, "You are European. You belong to Europe, and you belong in the EU."
Zelensky thanked Sweden for its support and defense package.
"Just recently Sweden has allocated nearly $1 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Thank you for your support," Zelensky said during the press conference. "Our soldiers are especially looking forward to the recently approved aid package — the brilliant Swedish Archers, one of the best artillery systems in the world."
"Today, Sweden is among the top 5 suppliers of critical equipment for the recovery of our power grid after the Russian strikes. This is a clear indication of how much Sweden values people and humanity," Zelensky added.