Poland to put German Patriot missiles near border with Ukraine

Berlin offered Warsaw the Patriot missile to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, according to Germany's defense minister.

 People wave Polish and Ukrainian flags during a demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine in Warsaw, Poland February 20, 2022. (photo credit: Jacek Marczewski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS)
People wave Polish and Ukrainian flags during a demonstration in solidarity with Ukraine in Warsaw, Poland February 20, 2022.
(photo credit: Jacek Marczewski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS)

NATO allies Poland and Germany have agreed to deploy additional Patriot missile launchers near the Polish border with Ukraine following an offer from Berlin, Poland's defense minister said on Monday.

"The German Defence Minister confirmed her willingness to deploy the Patriot launcher at the border with Ukraine," Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.

"The version of the system remains to be determined, as does how quickly they will reach us and how long they will be stationed."

Berlin offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defense system to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday.

 An unexploded missile is seen amid Ukraine-Russia conflict in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022. (credit: Press service of the National Guard of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS) An unexploded missile is seen amid Ukraine-Russia conflict in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 9, 2022. (credit: Press service of the National Guard of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

The German government had already said it would offer its eastern neighbor further help in air policing with German Eurofighters after the incident, which initially raised fears that the war in Ukraine could spill across the border.

The missile that hit Poland

The missile that hit Poland last week, killing two people, appeared to have been fired accidentally by Ukraine's air defenses rather than to have been a Russian strike, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg has said.

Ground-based air defense systems such as Raytheon's RTX.N Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.