Germany protests Poland’s demand to give Ukraine Patriot missiles

The ground-based Patriot air defense system is designed to intercept incoming missiles.

Berlin:

Berlin made clear on Thursday that Patriot air defense units being delivered to Poland are intended for use in NATO territory, countering demands by Warsaw for the system to be shipped to Ukraine.

“These Patriots are part of NATO’s integrated air defense, which means they have to be deployed in NATO territory,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in Berlin.

“Any use outside the NATO area would require prior discussion with NATO and allies,” she said.

Berlin offered the Warsaw Patriot missile defense system to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week and killed two people.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Wednesday that he had asked Germany to send Patriot fire units to Ukraine instead.

Blaszczak wrote on Twitter, “After the Russian missile attacks, I asked Germany to move Patriot batteries given to Poland to Ukraine and stationed on its western border.”

On Monday, Poland said it would propose deploying additional Patriot missile launchers near its border with Ukraine.

Ground-based air defense systems like Raytheon’s Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.

But NATO is in short supply of the system because, after the Cold War, many NATO allies reduced their numbers to reflect the assessment that they would henceforth only have to deal with a limited missile threat coming from countries such as Iran. ,

This perception changed significantly with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which left NATO allies scrambling to increase ammunition stockpiles and deal with air defense system shortages.

Germany had 36 Patriot units when it was a NATO frontline state during the Cold War and still relied on support from NATO allies. Today, the German military has 12 Patriot units, two of which are stationed in Slovakia.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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