Poland will install Germany’s Patriots on its own soil

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Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter that he had discussed with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht and “accepted, with disappointment, her decision to refuse to support Ukraine.”

The Polish government announced yesterday Tuesday that it will finally install on its own territory the arrays of the Patriot anti-aircraft defense system that Germany offered it, but which Germany requested to be deployed on the territory of Ukraine.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter that he had discussed with his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht and “accepted, with disappointment, her decision to refuse to support Ukraine.”

“Patriot deployment in western Ukraine would increase the security of Poles and Ukrainians. So we will proceed with the work of arrangements for the placement of the launchers in Poland and their inclusion in our management system,” he added, although initially there was no talk of these systems being under Warsaw’s management.

However, the information that an agreement was signed was confirmed almost immediately by the German Ministry of Defense.

“Federal (Defence) Minister Christine Lambrecht and her Polish counterpart had a good conversation about the offer to deploy German Patriot systems in Poland and agreed in principle,” his spokesman said in an email obtained by AFP.

“Details such as the locations of the possible deployment and the creation of the necessary infrastructure will now be discussed at a technical level, and it is planned to send a reconnaissance team to Poland immediately,” he added.

On November 21, Berlin offered to deploy these modern, American-made anti-aircraft defense systems to Poland’s eastern border after a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile was fatally shot down in the area.

Initially Mr. Blaszczak accepted the proposal, but within 24 hours he changed his mind: he suggested that the Patriots be deployed on the Ukrainian side of the border.

Germany countered that this possibility should be discussed in NATO. The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jens Stoltenberg, for his part, commented that the decision was up to the German government.

The change of attitude of the Polish authorities, which was perceived as a diplomatic rejection of the German offer, was criticized by the Polish opposition, who attributed it to the anti-German orientation of the conservative nationalist government.

If there was the slightest doubt about this orientation, it was dispelled by recent statements by the leader of the ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who denounced Germany’s attempt to impose its “dominion” on Europe.

NATO member states have provided Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of weapons to help it counter the Russian invasion, including modern air defense systems. Germany sent arrays of Iris-T, a medium-range system, to Kyiv. But the US and its allies have so far avoided sending longer-range Patriot systems to Ukraine.

This particular system is a key element of the alliance’s defenses on its eastern flank. Washington has deployed its arrays in Poland, Germany in Slovakia.

RES-EMP

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