NATO has applauded Germany’s announcement to offer Patriot anti-missile batteries to Poland to reinforce its anti-aircraft defenses following last week’s incident in which two people were killed in a town near the border by a Ukrainian shell.
«I welcome the German offer to strengthen Poland’s air defenses by offering to deploy Patriot batteries after the tragic incident last week, in which two people lost their lives,» NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference ahead of next week’s foreign ministers’ meeting in Romania.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has called for Patriot anti-missile batteries to be relocated to the Ukrainian border, sparking a debate over whether these systems can be brought to Ukraine, with the necessary presence of German technicians on the ground. Berlin has rejected this.
The former Norwegian prime minister has stressed that Germany supports with modern defense systems to Kiev and has insisted that he will ask the allies to increase military support, including air defenses. «But decisions on specific means remain national decisions,» Stoltenberg stressed, noting that this announcement is part of NATO’s efforts to increase its presence on the eastern front.
Allied sources assure that the incident of the missile that hit Poland has not changed NATO’s risk assessment and that its military commanders consider that the current mechanisms are sufficient to neutralize threats on allied territory.
All this despite the fact that this episode has generated that the Eastern countries, which see the Russian threat as an existential risk, have reactivated the demands for an integral system of anti-missile defenses at NATO level, a question which the sources underline is «not ripe» to be materialized in the short term.