Germany failed to maintain confidentiality of Patriot talks says defence min'

Martin Divisek/PAP/EPA

Berlin violated the confidentiality of talks with Poland about deploying German Patriot air-defence systems, the Polish defence minister has said in an internet interview.

Commenting on German media reports that Warsaw had requested confidentiality in negotiations over a German offer to deploy Patriots in Poland, Mariusz Błaszczak told the i.pl website in an interview published on Friday that Germany had breached that trust.

"I can confirm that," he said. "Anyway, the evidence was published in the German media."

Błaszczak, who is also a deputy prime minister, went on to say the "greatest achievement of talks with Germany is that those (German Patriot - PAP) launchers will be connected to the Polish defence system and therefore the operational command of the Polish Armed Forces will decide on the Patriots' use within the framework of the comprehensive Polish anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence system."

Zbigniew Rau, Poland's foreign minister, said in Washington on Friday following talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, that Blinken had expressed surprise at Germany's openness about the Patriot talks and that they had become the subject of a public exchange of views.

"American diplomacy is interested in this matter," Rau said. "Even today I heard from the secretary of state surprise that an exchange of ideas and views in public discourse occurred on this issue. We both agreed that that type of arrangement... should be conducted behind closed doors."