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Germany to keep Patriot batteries deployed in Poland until end of 2023

09.08.2023 13:00
Poland has received official confirmation that Germany will keep its Patriot missile defense systems stationed in eastern Poland until the end of 2023, the Polish defense ministry said on Wednesday.
A Patriot missile defense system.
A Patriot missile defense system.Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński

Earlier this week, Germany offered to extend the deployment of its Patriot batteries in Poland until the end of the year, according to a report by the Reuters news agency.

However, the German defense ministry said that any further extension of the Patriot systems in Poland beyond this period is not anticipated due to their planned integration into NATO's Rapid Reaction Force in 2024, Reuters reported.

Additionally, some launchers are scheduled for maintenance, it said.

The Polish defense ministry said on Wednesday that, in response to the German offer, it had received official confirmation from the German authorities regarding the continued deployment of the Patriot batteries until the end of 2023, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

In July, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, following discussions with his German counterpart Boris Pistorius, said that Poland wanted to keep German Patriot missile launchers stationed near the Ukrainian border at least until the end of this year to help protect Western arms supplies to Ukraine.

German Patriots for Poland

Germany offered to provide a Patriot air defence system to Poland after a stray Ukrainian air-defence missile struck a village in southeastern Poland in November last year, killing two people, according to reports at the time.

Poland initially called for the weapons to be sent to Ukraine instead before it eventually accepted Berlin’s offer, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

In January, a Patriot air defence system provided by Germany to bolster NATO’s eastern flank arrived in Poland to be stationed in the eastern Lubelskie region, some 60 kilometres from the Ukrainian border, according to officials.

Approximately 300 German soldiers are currently operating three Patriot batteries stationed in the eastern Polish town of Zamość, Reuters reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Wednesday is day 532 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, Reuters