The Polish government refuses military aid from Germany

But the offer was generous. Following the November 15 incident in the village of Przewodow, close to the border with Ukraine, that killed two Polish citizens after Ukrainian air defenses missed a Russian missile, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in Warsaw on Sunday for , November 20, delivery of two batteries of Patriot missiles. Within NATO, this American production system is seen as the “jewel” of anti-aircraft guns.

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Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said this on Monday ” to accept[ait] with satisfaction” the German proposal. A gesture of solidarity that is all the more welcome in military circles, given that the country’s air defenses are still largely based on systems inherited from the Soviet era and that the extensive modernization program in this sector has been delayed. Two Patriot batteries are commissioned and should be operational by 2024. The purchase of six other units, essential for optimal coverage of the territory, is only just in the negotiation phase.

But to everyone’s surprise, Mr. Blaszczak announced a reversal of the Polish position on social networks on Wednesday evening. “Following the new Russian missile strikes [en Ukraine], I asked the German side to forward the Patriot batteries offered to Poland to Ukraine and place them on the western border. This allows Ukraine to defend itself (…) and increase the security of our eastern border. » A thinly disguised way of rejecting Berlin’s offer.

Unrealistic proposal

The news caused a stir, even in the corridors of the presidential palace. President Andrzej Duda, although commander of the armed forces, was not consulted. Experts were quick to point out the unrealistic nature of the proposal, as transferring such a sensitive arsenal would require the agreement of the US government, which has so far refused to give the go-ahead for the delivery of this type of armament. . This would also involve a long-term presence of German soldiers on Ukrainian soil for training and maintenance purposes, providing another red line of the Atlantic Alliance.

“This proposal shows a deep ignorance of the agreements within NATO”underlines General Miroslaw Rozanski, who resigned from the army in 2017 due to deep disagreements with the policies of the ruling PiS party. “The proposal to send Alliance soldiers to a country at war would require consultation with the Allies. » For the general, this decision “politics” is also “incomprehensible and irresponsible”.

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