Italy to send Ukraine 2 other air defense systems in addition to Mamba

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Under its new military aid package, Italy will provide Ukraine with Spada and Skyguard air defense systems beyond the SAMP-T/Mamba, which it earlier pledged to deliver, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Feb. 21.

Speaking at a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv, Meloni ruled out supplying Western fighter jets to Ukraine for the time being.

"Currently, there is no question of sending aircraft, and this decision must be made with international partners. We have focused on air defense systems, SAMP/T, Spada, and Skyguard. The priority is to protect infrastructure and civilian population," the prime minister said.

France and Italy approved the delivery of Italian-French SAMP-T air defense systems in early February. Ukrainian servicemen left for training on the system shortly after.

Meloni arrived in Kyiv on Feb. 20 on her first trip to Ukraine since Russia started the all-out war against Ukraine in 2022.

Except for meeting Zelensky, the Italian prime minister also visited Bucha and Irpin, towns in Kyiv Oblast devastated by Russia's occupation in March.

The two leaders signed a declaration reaffirming Italy's continuing support for Ukraine, its European and NATO integration, and efforts to implement the peace formula outlined by Zelensky.

Meloni added that her country was preparing to host Ukraine Recovery Conference in April.