Germany has refused to deliver Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine. Instead, they will be deployed in Poland, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Tuesday.
On November 30, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Germany to give Kyiv Patriot complexes, which were prepared for deployment in Poland. He also suggested that Poland give air defense systems to Ukraine upon their arrival from Germany.
“After talking with the German defense minister, I was disappointed with the decision to withdraw support from Ukraine. Deploying Patriot in western Ukraine would increase the security of Poles and Ukrainians,” Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.
According to the minister, the systems will now be delivered and connected to the Polish national defense system.
“We are proceeding to coordinate the delivery of the launchers to Poland and connecting them to our control system,” Blaszczak added.
Germany offered Poland to deploy several Patriot complexes at its border with Ukraine following the missile incident on November 15.
Earlier, the calls for Patriot systems were growing louder in Ukraine. The adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted on November 27 that “‘Patriot system’ and ‘escalation’ are words that cannot be in the same sentence. Air defense is not about offensives but protecting children and civilians from missiles. This a wise initiative by Poland. Correct words of the NATO Secretary General. Waiting for Germany’s decision.”
On November 15, two missiles fell on Polish territory on the border with Ukraine, killing two people. Initially, Warsaw said that the missiles were Russian-made but later added that there was a high probability that they were shot by Ukrainian air defense forces working to intercept incoming Russian missiles.
The Russian Defense Ministry said no strikes had been carried out on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border.
Since the beginning of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, Germany has been supplying Ukraine with various types of weapon systems, including air defense missiles, multiple-launch rocket systems, self-propelled artillery, and anti-aircraft guns.
Previously, Berlin said it wouldn’t send lethal weapons as part of its post-WWII policy but has since given up on principle.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said that the United States is not preventing Ukraine from developing its own long-range weapons systems to strike Russian territory.
“Your question was: is the US working to prevent Ukraine from developing its own long-range strike capability? The short answer is no. We’re absolutely not doing that,” Austin said during a press conference on Tuesday.
The question came following reports that the Defense Department has modified High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) sent to Ukraine to limit their range due to concerns Kyiv might use them to strike Russian territory and thereby escalate the conflict.
The United States has provided Ukraine with 20 HIMARS launchers with guided munitions that can strike a target nearly 50 miles away. However, Washington has declined to provide Kyiv with the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), which have a range of almost 200 miles.
While the Defense Department has often touted the effectiveness of the existing HIMARS capabilities on the battlefield in Ukraine, President Joe Biden said last month that he is not looking for Ukraine to start striking Russian territory by providing longer-range weapon systems and munitions.
- Via: Sputnik News Agency
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