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US to send two Patriot batteries to Poland

09.03.2022 06:45
The United States is sending two batteries of the Patriot anti-missile system to Poland at the request of the Polish government, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday.
Patriot missile launcher.
Patriot missile launcher.PAP/DPA/Thomas Frey

US European Command Spokesperson Scott Ghiringhelli said: "At the direction of the Secretary of Defense and at the invitation of our Polish allies, General (Tod) Wolters, Commander, of U.S. European Command has directed U.S. Army Europe and Africa to reposition two Patriot Batteries to Poland,"  the state PAP news agency reported.

"This defensive deployment is being conducted proactively to counter any potential threat to U.S. and Allied forces and NATO territory," the official added.

The move was earlier suggested as a possibility by the US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, according to PAP. 

Poland in 2018 signed a contract for the purchase of two Patriot batteries for its air defence system. They are expected to arrive in late 2022 or early 2023, officials told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said Poland’s offer to place its MIG-29 fighter jets at the disposal of the US government, for eventual use by Ukraine, was “not tenable.”

“We will continue to consult with Poland and our other Nato allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.

'Decision to send offensive weapons must be made unanimously by NATO members': Polish PM

Also on Tuesday, Poland’s prime minister said any decision to send offensive weapons to Ukraine as it battles the Russian assault must be made unanimously by the whole NATO alliance.

“We can’t make any moves on our own because we are not a party to this war,” Mateusz Morawiecki said in Oslo, as quoted by PAP.

Tuesday was day thirteen of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, which was launched by President Vladimir Putin on February 24.

Poland late on Tuesday reported it had admitted 1.27 million refugees fleeing Moscow’s invasion. 


Source: PAP, IAR, foxnews.com. nytimes.com