Poland is now offering a German anti-aircraft system to Ukraine

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  • Charlotte Wires

    Germany correspondent

  • Charlotte Wires

    Germany correspondent

It seemed like a step towards greater co-operation, but the relief was already replaced by discomfort after a few days. After Germany offered Poland an anti-aircraft system last Monday, Poland is now offering that system to Ukraine. It puts even more pressure on the already difficult relationship between Poland and Germany.

The reason for the German offer was the missile attack that took place in Poland near the border with Ukraine, as a result of which two Poles were killed. Although there were many indications that it was an accidental departure from the Ukrainian anti-aircraft system, there was growing concern in Poland that the war could spread across the border. One way to arm yourself against this is to enhance airspace security.


Last Monday, German Defense Minister Lambrecht concluded agreements with her Polish counterpart Blaszczak on the joint defense of Polish airspace. Part of this agreement was Germany’s offer to supply the Patriot anti-aircraft system. With the added benefit of Germany being the possibility of improved relations with Poland. Then the Polish minister accepted this offer “with pleasure”.

What is even more remarkable is the transformation that has taken place in Poland since yesterday. First, it was Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslav Kaczynski, considered by many to be the most powerful man in Poland, who said that it was better for Poland’s security if Germany supplied Patriots directly to Ukraine.

Later, Minister Blaszczak also thought it was a good idea to place an anti-aircraft system directly in Ukraine. “After more missile strikes from Russia, I turned to Germany to deploy Ukraine’s proposed Patriot missiles on the western border. This will prevent Ukrainian casualties in electricity, and improve security on our eastern border,” the minister said. Twitter. Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki confirmed this today, and the reaction in Ukraine was positive.

Talk to each other

There was no immediate enthusiasm from Germany at this juncture, but there was also no outright rejection. “They are scheduled Patriots under NATO’s joint air defense programme. That’s why we can offer them to Poland,” said Minister Lambrecht, referring to the fact that Poland is a member of NATO and Ukraine is not. “Suggestions that deviate from this should first be discussed with NATO and its allies.”

However, the chances of NATO deploying its own assets against Russia directly in Ukraine appear remote. So far, the coalition has backed away because it wants to prevent a further escalation of the war. Additionally, each Patriot system requires ninety trained military personnel to be deployed on site.

Therefore, Strack Zimmermann, chairman of the defense committee in the German parliament, believes that the German offer was really intended for Poland itself, and not for NATO. “Wow,” she says, “how can people talk about each other like that.”

World War II

It is unclear why the Poles first accepted the German proposal and then rejected it. The Polish opposition refers to the domestic political interests of the Law and Justice Party, which is the ruling party of Plashack, Morawiecki, and Kaczynski. Next year there will be elections in Poland, and Germany often has to pay for the law and justice bill. According to the party, the neighboring country is a threat to Polish sovereignty.

History plays an important role in this difficult relationship between the two countries. Poland was one of the Germans’ biggest casualties in World War II. The Polish government also believes that Germany is long overdue in supplying heavy weapons to Ukraine.

Former Polish President Komorowski, an opponent of the Law and Justice Party, said in an interview with Rmf.fm radio station today: “It is difficult to accept German aid and at the same time in politics they spit on Germany whenever they can, almost accusing it of aggressive intentions against Poland.” Such a shift would be a way out. , a way for the government to reject the German offer without saying it out loud.

The Polish newspaper Gazeta Wiborczä attacked the government on Tuesday. “What now, Mr. Kaczynski? Germany offers us modern missile defense systems to defend Polish airspace. Doesn’t that interfere with our internal affairs?”

We can’t accept that, the newspaper continues sarcastically. “that Berlin, in spite of the PiS government’s persistent campaign against Germany, is now showing itself to be a staunch friend and ally of our country, helping us in times of need.”

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