NATO member Romania announced Thursday that it would send a Patriot missile system to Ukraine, which Kyiv has requested to help its fight against Russia's invasion.

"Considering the significant deterioration of the security situation in Ukraine... council members decided to donate a Patriot system to Ukraine in close coordination with allies," the Supreme Council of National Defence said in a statement.

The donation was made "on the condition that our country continues negotiations with allies, in particular the US, with a view to obtaining a similar or equivalent system" to protect its own air space, it added.

The country, which borders Ukraine, also needed "a temporary solution to cover the operational vulnerability thus created", it added.

While Kyiv is calling for more Patriot missile systems, NATO countries have been reluctant to send them because they want to protect their own airspace.

Germany recently announced it would transfer a third Patriot air-defence system to Ukraine, while the United States is expected to send a second battery to Kyiv, according to US media reports.

Romania signed a $4-billion deal for seven Patriot batteries with the US in 2017, the biggest defence acquisition in its history.

Two of the four systems it has received so far are fully operational.

Romania has been providing military help to Kyiv in the war with Russia, but has refused to reveal the scale of the support, citing security concerns.

It has also pledged to train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets in a regional hub inaugurated in November 2023, although the timeline for that programme remains unclear.