Poland may accept Patriots if they are not sent to Ukraine says PM

Last week, the German government offered to send Poland the US-made air-defence system to help it secure its airspace after a missile crashed near a Polish village close to the Ukrainian border, killing two people. Martin Divisek/PAP/EPA

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's prime minister, said on Monday that his country would consider accepting the Patriot air defence units from Germany if Berlin decides not to transfer them to Ukraine as requested by Warsaw.

Last week, the German government offered to send Poland the US-made air-defence system to help it secure its airspace after a missile crashed near a Polish village close to the Ukrainian border, killing two people.

But in response, Poland said that the Patriots should be placed in Ukraine instead.

Last Thursday, the German defence minister, Christine Lambrecht, said the defence equipment could not be handed over to Ukraine due to Nato constraints.

"These Patriots are part of Nato's integrated air defence, which means that they are to be deployed on Nato territory," she said.

During a press conference on Monday, Morawiecki was asked whether Poland would still accept the Patriots in case Germany did not send them to Ukraine.

"Yes, we will consider such a variant, of course, but we would like to point out that no one wants to obtain equipment to keep it standing," he replied.

He added that people were dying also in the western part of Ukraine. "Therefore, let the weapons that are being sent serve as best as possible to defend the Ukrainian skies. In this way, it will also serve to defend the Polish skies," Morawiecki said.