Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said his country would accept Germany’s offer to deploy a Patriot missile defence system to Poland.
The move comes after a brief spat between Germany and Poland after Warsaw asked to have the air defence weapons be transferred to Ukraine instead.
Berlin refused the proposal and said it would act the same way as rest of NATO, not deploying this particular system in Ukraine.
Germany had made the offer after an errant missile fell in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine, killing two Polish men. Poland and NATO said it was likely a Ukrainian missile that misfired as Ukraine was defending itself against Russian strikes.
Poland ‘disappointed to accept’
“After talking to [Germany on Monday], I was disappointed to accept the decision to reject the support of Ukraine,” Blaszczak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Placing the Patriots in western Ukraine would increase the security of Poles and Ukrainians.”
Warsaw and Berlin would nonetheless proceed “with arrangements regarding the placement of the launchers in Poland and connecting them to our command system,” he said.
A German Defence Ministry spokesman said that Blaszczak and Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht had “agreed in principle” for the original proposal to go ahead.
“Details like potential places for deployment and the infrastructure required will now be discussed at the specialiast level,” the spokesman said.
It’s not the first time since the outbreak of war in Ukraine that Warsaw has sought to influence Berlin on military aid. Early in March, just a few weeks after Russia’s invasion, Poland said it would donate some of its old Soviet-era Mig fighters to Ukraine in exchange for upgraded US replacements, but only if they were transferred via the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Warsaw had not cleared this with Germany or the US, which owns the base, and both parties ultimately rejected the proposal.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by “Deutsche Welle” website – visit dw.com to read the full article.