Poland’s defense minister says his country will accept a Patriot missile defense system which Germany offered to deploy to Poland last month
WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s defense minister said Tuesday that his country will accept a Patriot missile defense system which Germany offered to deploy to Poland last month.
The German offer was made after an errant missile fell in Poland near the border with Ukraine, killing two Polish men.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak had initially said he accepted the offer with “satisfaction.” But he and other Polish officials later said they felt the Patriot system should be placed in Ukraine, something Germany was unwilling to do.
What appeared to be Poland cold-shouldering Germany’s offer created strains in the relationship between the two neighboring countries, which have a difficult history but today are important trade partners and allies in NATO.
Blaszczak said Tuesday on he was sorry Germany did not want to place the Patriot system in Ukraine.
“I was disappointed to accept the decision to reject the support of Ukraine,” he wrote. “Placing the Patriots in western Ukraine would increase the security of Poles and Ukrainians.”
Nonetheless, he said the two side were proceeding “with arrangements regarding the placement of the launcher in Poland and connecting them to our command system.”
Germany has said the Patriot system offered to Poland was part of NATO’s integrated air defense and only to be deployed on NATO territory.
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