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Poland aims to enhance air defense through European Sky Shield Initiative: PM

16.04.2024 21:30
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has emphasized the importance of bolstering national security and defense through both ongoing projects and new endeavors including the German-led European Sky Shield Initiative.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

During a government meeting on Tuesday, discussions focused on the potential inclusion of Poland in the European Sky Shield Initiative, a project that aims to create a unified air defense system across Europe.

Tusk clarified that this initiative would complement, not replace, existing national defense strategies, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Tusk’s remarks followed a meeting a day earlier with Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, where they discussed enhancing missile and air defense systems in Europe.

The urgency of such measures was underscored by recent attacks on Israel by Iran, demonstrating the effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome missile system in intercepting threats.

Tusk confirmed that Poland would press ahead with the deployment of Patriot missile systems and the development of other air defense systems such as PilicaNarew and Wisła, the PAP news agency reported.

Tusk also highlighted the strategic importance of collaboration with other European Union countries, including Germany and Denmark, as well as with the United Kingdom, in developing the European Sky Shield.

He stressed the need for an integrated approach to defense to ensure the safety of Poland and its allies.

The meeting, attended by top military brass and the head of the National Security Bureau (BBN), also addressed concerns about the reliability of defense purchases made under the previous administration.

Tusk criticized former Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz for harmful procurement decisions that he said had jeopardized Poland’s defense capabilities.

"Not a day goes by without discovering more damage done by (Macierewicz)," said Tusk and added: "Most of the purchases made were the result of an ill-considered strategy ..."

The prime minister told reporters that Polish troops stationed in Lebanon as part of a United Nations mission faced no immediate threats despite increased tensions in the Middle East following the Iranian barrage.

"I received reassuring information about the soldiers in the military contingent in Lebanon," Tusk said.

"The situation is not easy; they spend a considerable amount of time in shelters, but they are not threatened and are not involved in actions that would be a consequence of this increase in tension," he added.


Source: IAR, PAP