Will Germany’s Patriots go to Ukraine?

November 26,2022 441
Will Germany’s Patriots go to Ukraine?

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said Friday that the Patriot air defense system Germany had offered for Poland would be best to deploy in Ukraine.

“From a military point of view, of course, it would be best if, for the protection of Polish territory as well, these missiles were located at a certain distance from the Polish border on the Ukrainian territory. Then they would actually protect and help defend both Ukraine and Poland in the most effective way,” the President was quoted as saying by TVN24.

Thus, Duda supported the suggestion made on Wednesday by Poland’s minister of national defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, that the Patriot battery should be given to Ukraine instead of Poland and deployed at Ukraine’s western border.

Also on Friday, Germany said it was discussing with allies Poland’s request after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg suggested the military alliance might not oppose such a move, Reuters reported.

“We are talking with our allies about how to handle Poland’s […] suggestion,” a German government spokesperson told reporters in Berlin.

On Thursday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said sharing Germany’s Patriot units outside NATO territory would require prior discussions with NATO and the allies. However, NATO’s chief said such deployments should be decisions for individual nations, taking into account rules around final users.

“The specific decisions on specific systems are national decisions,” he told reporters in Brussels.

“Sometimes there are end users agreements and other things, so they need to consult with other allies. But at the end of the day, it [the decision] has to be taken by the national governments,” he added.

Berlin had offered the Patriot system in question to Warsaw to help protect Poland’s airspace after a stray missile crashed and killed two people in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine last week.

Patriots are produced by the U.S. company Raytheon.