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US hopes delivery of first two NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine will happen very soon

John Kirby declined to name an exact date for the delivery

WASHINGTON, October 11. /TASS/. The US is hoping to provide Kiev with two NASAMS air defense systems in the near future, National Security Council coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said on Tuesday.

Washington promised to supply a total of eight of these systems to Ukraine as part of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, he said. That means the systems will be made under a contract with their manufacturer, rather be drawn down from Pentagon inventories.

"We think that we're on track to get those first two over there in the very near future," Kirby told reporters. "We are certainly interested in expediting the delivery of NASAMS to Ukraine as soon as we can."

Kirby also said the US continues discussions with Ukraine about supplying more air defense systems to the country, but said he wasn’t ready to make any announcements.

On February 24 Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. The West retaliated to the Russian decision by imposing sweeping sanctions on the country and stepped up shipments of weapons to Kiev, which by now are worth billions of dollars.