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The Polish defence minister has said that the US decision to offer a Patriot air defence system to Ukraine will help that country to effectively defend itself against Russian attacks against its critical infrastructure.
Ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Washington on Wednesday, the Biden administration said it would provide another USD 1.85 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including the Patriot air defence system.
“The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party political camp was right again while saying that the Patriots, offered to Poland by Germany, should be sent to Ukraine,” Mariusz Blaszczak told reporters on Thursday.
Germany offered the Patriots to Poland after a stray missile killed two Poles near the Ukrainian border on November 15. Poland’s government, however, proposed that the missiles be stationed in Ukraine. Germany declined to send the Patriots to Ukraine citing restrictions on deploying Nato weaponry in non-Nato states.
“When we said that the Patriots should go to Ukraine, we were thinking about the security of Poland, the security of Ukraine, and the security of the entire eastern flank of Nato,” the minister said.
According to Blaszczak, Poland’s proposal started a discussion. “And, today, we can say with satisfaction that the US decided to send the Patriots to Ukraine.”
“This is a very good decision,” Blaszczak said, adding that it would diminish the threat of blackouts and, in this way, would also decrease the number of Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homeland due to the lack of electricity and heating.
Blaszczak also said that Poland had ordered the Patriot system in 2018 and that the first launchers were already in the country.