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DEFENSE/U.S. says reprioritizing missile deliveries to Ukraine won't affect Taiwan

06/21/2024 07:21 PM
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White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby. CNA file photo
White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby. CNA file photo

Washington, June 20 (CNA) The United States has decided to prioritize the delivery of Patriot missiles and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) to Ukraine, but the decision will not affect orders placed by Taiwan, a White House official said on Thursday.

During a virtual press conference, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby noted that Russia is stepping up its aerial attacks on Ukraine in an attempt to destroy Ukraine's energy system before winter.

This has led the U.S. to make the "difficult but necessary" decision to reprioritize the deliveries of Patriot and NASAMS missiles that other countries have ordered to go to Ukraine, Kirby said.

The U.S. estimates a 16-month time frame to fill out Ukraine's inventory, and "after that, the countries that have been asked to delay will start to get their deliveries," he noted.

However, the reprioritization "will not affect Taiwan and what Taiwan continues to need and to receive from the United States with respect to their self-defense," Kirby said.

Bloomberg in 2022 reported that the U.S. proposed to sell Taiwan 100 advanced Patriot air-defense missiles and related equipment in a deal valued at US$882 million, which was under the provisions of a 2010 arms sale to the island.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense in 2023 also confirmed the country's plan to procure the NASAMS system from the U.S.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Sean Lin)

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