Austria May Join “Sky Shield” Over Ukraine

by Meifan Honcharuk
Monday, July 3, 2023
Austria May Join “Sky Shield” Over Ukraine

The state is considering the possibility of pooling and sharing with countries that help protect Ukrainians from death from the air

Sky Shield is an international technical program, an association of states that helps the Armed Forces of Ukraine close the sky over Ukraine and prevent Russian missiles and drones from killing Ukrainians. The program's initiator is Germany, and today 17 states of the European Union participate in it, except France.

"The threat situation has massively intensified due to the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. Austria will therefore join the European air defence initiative, Sky Shield," chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Austria is famous for its respect for its neutrality, which is why some politicians reacted sharply to chancellor Karl Nehammer's offer to join the Sky Shield. The head of the far-right FPÖ party, Herbert Kickl, said Nehammer and those who support him are "sacrifice neutrality at the altar of NATO." The problem is that the Russian-friendly FPÖ may win the upcoming elections, and then Austria's help will definitely be forgotten.

Foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg argues against Kickl that Sky Shield is not a NATO program but "the cooperation of several states," and "pooling and sharing" is in line with the traditions of neutrality.

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