Poland and Romania told to wait as US prioritizes deliveries of Patriot missiles to Ukraine

The U.S. is redirecting all current and open orders for Patriot air defense systems exclusively to Ukraine, causing delays for other awaiting nations like Poland and Romania

FILE - In this image released by the U.S. Department of Defense, German soldiers assigned to 1 Surface-to-Air Missile Defense Wing. fire the Patriot weapons system at the NATO Missile Firing Installation, in Chania, Greece, on Nov. 8, 2017. (Sebastian Apel/U.S. Department of Defense, via AP, File)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

The United States has announced a temporary halt on all existing orders for Patriot missile systems to prioritize the defense needs of Ukraine amid the ongoing war with Russia.

This decision places Ukraine at the forefront for receiving these critical air defense systems, while other countries with pending orders, including Poland and Romania, will experience delays.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby described the decision as “difficult but necessary” during a briefing. He emphasized that both Patriot and NASAMS interceptors initially intended for various countries are now being redirected to assist Ukraine in defending its cities and critical infrastructure. “Deliveries for these missiles to other nations currently in line will have to be postponed,” Kirby stated.

This move formalizes a promise made by U.S. President Joe Biden last week at the G7 summit, where he pledged to enable Ukraine to acquire the necessary equipment to protect itself. Biden declared in Italy that five countries had agreed to send Patriots to Ukraine and those awaiting deliveries would need to wait until Ukraine’s defense requirements are fully met. “Everything we have will go to Ukraine until their needs are satisfied,” Biden affirmed.

Among the European nations affected are Poland, Romania, and Germany, all of which have pending orders for the Patriot systems. Spain also has an open order, and a NATO coalition placed an order in January for 1,000 Patriot missiles.

Reacting to the U.S. announcement, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz reassured that the U.S. decision would not impact the readiness of Polish military units. “Contracts for the Polish Armed Forces will be honored. More ammunition in Ukraine means greater security for our entire region. Our government is pushing forward with new contracts and modernization to enhance Poland’s defense potential and our national security,” he stated on X.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly appealed to Western countries for additional air defense systems, as the lack of such defenses has exposed Ukrainian positions on the frontline and logistical lines, as well as civilian installations, to danger. Efforts by Germany to persuade other nations to supply Ukraine with Patriot launchers were only partially successful, with the Netherlands, offering a system assembled from components supplied by various countries and Spain promising missiles.

In March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky indicated that Ukraine needed at least five Patriot systems. After Russian attacks in April destroyed many energy infrastructure facilities with missiles and drones, Zelensky stated the need for seven systems and by May, he requested two more to protect Kharkiv.

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