German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht dismissed Poland’s request to donate a Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, arguing that deployment of the surface-to-air missile system to western Ukraine would have to be agreed to by NATO.
“These are Patriot systems that are part of integrated NATO air-defense planning. That’s why it was possible to make this offer to Poland,” explained Lambrecht. “If they are used outside the NATO area, then NATO and the allies need to agree to this beforehand,” she added.
After the the incident with the missile in eastern Poland, Lambrecht had proposed to provide Patriot air-defense systems and Eurofighter jets to help guard Poland’s air space, but on Wednesday, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak asked Germany to donate the Patriot systems that were offered to Poland to Ukraine instead.
The head of the ruling party in Poland, Jarosław Kaczyński, also suggested that German Patriot systems should be transferred from Germany to Ukraine. In an interview with Polish Press Agency (PAP), Kaczyński assessed that the German proposal was interesting; however, “it would be best for Poland’s security if Germany donated this equipment to Ukrainians and trained Ukrainian crews under the condition that the batteries would be located in western Ukraine.”
The leader of Law and Justice (PiS) pointed out that the change from current S-300 defense systems would increase the effectiveness of Ukraine’s air-defense, which could also defend Polish territory in case of a Russian attack. “It could also prevent such events as the one in Przewodów,” said Kaczyński.
President Andrzej Duda said on Monday that Germany’s proposal is an important gesture “in the situation that NATO, Germany, and Poland currently find themselves in.”
On Nov. 15, when Russian forces conducted a wide-scale missile strike against Ukraine, one missile hit the Polish village of Przewodów near the border with Ukraine. Polish authorities later said that a missile from the Ukrainian air-defense most likely caused the tragic accident, which claimed the lives of two Polish citizens.