Victor Pinchuk Foundation and YES held a Conversation with the Minister of Defense of Sweden during the YES meeting in Kyiv “Two Years - Stay in Fight”

25 February 2024

On 24 February 2024, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and Yalta European Strategy (YES) held a conversation with the Minister of Defense of Sweden on the occasion of the YES meeting in Kyiv “Two Years - Stay in Fight” dedicated to the second anniversary of Ukraine's resistance to the full-scale invasion of Russia. Speakers discussed Ukraine’s fight for life, freedom and rule-bases order as well as how to aid Ukrainians victory in this fight for us all.

Carl Bildt,  Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden (2006-2014); Prime Minister of Sweden (1991-1994), Member, YES Board held a conversation with the Minister of Defense of Sweden, Pål Jonson to discuss Sweden’s foreign policy towards Ukraine.

Carl Bildt started the discussion by asking the Minister to outline Sweden’s military support to Ukraine.

“We have just presented our last support package on Tuesday which was our biggest package to-date, at around $700 million dollars. Our combined value of military assistance is 3 billion dollars which is about 20% of our defense budgets”, responded Pål Jonson.

“We are focusing on two things: air defense and artillery ammunition which is crucial as Russia is outshooting the Ukraine side. As well as that we are providing Ukrainians newly produced defense materials”, Pål Jonson added.

“The last point on the package is we are going into the maritime domain. We are joining the Norway and UK coalition to provide them with combat and U-boats. My priority is to assure that it makes a difference on the battlefield. So that means providing training, logistics, maintenance and spare parts. These are the crucial things for battlefield victory.”

Carl Bildt asked what the greatest challenges in providing Ukraine with the necessary support were: “We have three main problems at the minute. We have too little spare parts and ammunition, we have skyrocketing costs and long lead times. We are doing good things to support Ukraine in the Nordics however,” said Pål Jonson.

“How do you see the capabilities of Russia as we move ahead with this war?” asked Carl Bildt.”

Pål Jonson responded: “People underestimated Ukraine in 2022, but Russia’s resilience was underestimated in 2023. Today I am encouraged with the things that are going on in the Black Sea, where the Russians can’t access Sebastopol. The Russians are not impressive and we have to respond in kind and ramp up our productions.”

Carl Bildt rounded the session with optimism: “The Black Sea port is almost at capacity to what it was before the war. This is huge considering the focus the Russian’s placed on the port.”

Photos are available here

Video is available at the Victor Pinchuk Foundation YouTube channel

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David Rubenstein
David Rubenstein
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group, 16th YES Annual Meeting, 2019
«If you do things that can make the country a better place, you’re more likely to achieve personal happiness than through anything else you’re likely to do in the short term.»