NATO state unable to give Patriots to Ukraine — RT World News


Poland cannot give Ukraine any US-made Patriot missile systems because it does not have the full system for its own defense, Polish President Andrzej Duda reiterated on Tuesday. Kiev has been asking its Western backers to provide more long-range air defense systems to repel Russian strikes.

Poland has only just started receiving the first elements of the Patriot surface-to-air batteries that it ordered from the US seven years ago, Duda told Bloomberg at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha. Warsaw is currently in the process of building its own defense shield, part of which will be formed by the Patriot, he added.

“It’s difficult to say right now if we could be providing Patriot systems to Ukraine because, as a matter of fact, we still do not have the system in Poland, we do not have it complete to provide for our own defense,” Duda stated.

Ukraine earlier received several Patriot launchers, each of which costs more than $1 billion, from the US, Germany, and the Netherlands. The Financial Times reported in April that Kiev was lobbying Poland, Spain and Romania for batteries to be donated.

Both Duda and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk stated last month that Poland didn’t have any Patriot missile systems available to donate to Ukraine.

Germany and Spain recently agreed to send additional batteries to Kiev. Greece ruled out a donation, and Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said some members of his government were against the idea of sharing such weapons.

Poland has already donated $4 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine, including more than 300 battle tanks and Soviet-designed MiG 29 fighter jets, Duda said on Tuesday.

Poland is modernizing its armed forces, and it must replace what it donated to Ukraine, he added. Warsaw spends 4% of its GDP on defense, which is higher than NATO´s 2.5% target.

The Polish leader reiterated the claim that if Russia is allowed to win in Ukraine, it will keep attacking, and may target other neighboring countries. The Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – have increasingly voiced fears that they could be next. That would be “a huge threat to the whole world,” Duda said.

Moscow has repeatedly dismissed such claims, insisting it has no intention of attacking any NATO country. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March that the idea that Moscow will attack some other country such as Poland, or the Baltic States was “complete nonsense” and “drivel.” 

Moscow cited NATO’s expansion in Europe and its increasing presence in Ukraine as one of the key triggers of the current conflict.

Source link