Polish ambassador to Nato denies blocks on equipment to Ukraine

Poland's ambassador to Nato has described as “absolutely untrue” claims that the alliance’s agreements stand in the way of Germany sending Patriot missile to Ukraine.

Germany had offered to send the missile batteries to Poland, but the Polish government suggested that they should be sent, instead, to Ukraine. Berlin has said, however, that Nato rules prevent it from handing over the air-defence systems to Kyiv.

Speaking on public radio on Monday, Tomasz Szatkowski said the decision on whether to send the Patriot systems to Ukraine rested with Berlin rather than with Nato.

"It's a matter of bilateral arrangements, in this case mainly between Berlin and Kyiv, as well as in some sense Warsaw," Szatkowski said.

He expressed surprise at Berlin's declaration that sending the Patriots would be a Nato decision as, he said, "Germany is in favour of such an approach in which Nato is not formally engaged in the decision process related to supporting Ukraine."

He said Berlin had said many times in recent months that an agreement existed between Nato member states not to send equipment.

"It's absolutely untrue," Szatkowski said. "No such arrangements have been made by Nato, unless some there have been some unclear talks between certain allies which I don't know about; but I can assure you that when it comes to the key and most engaged allies, there is no such type of restriction."