President wants German Patriots to be located in Poland

The Patriot missiles offered to Poland by Germany should be situated in Poland and not, as suggested by the defence minister, given to Ukraine, according to Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, a presidential aide said on Friday.

Pawel Szrot, who heads the president's office, said Duda believed the Patriots should be used to protect Poland.

"President Duda's position here is quite clear - if Germany decides to provide access to the Patriot systems it has in its arsenal, then these missiles should defend Polish territory and Polish citizens," Szrot said on Polish Radio. 

On Sunday, Christine Lambrecht, the German defence minister, offered to transfer some of Germany's Patriot missile systems to Poland after a stray air-defence missile, believed to be Ukrainian, killed two Poles when it crashed in eastern Poland last week. 

Lambrecht also suggested German Air Force fighters could help patrol Polish airspace.

In response, Mariusz Blaszczak, Poland's defence minister, said Germany should give the Patriot batteries to Ukraine.

Lambrecht has declined to do so, citing constraints on deploying Nato weaponry in non-Nato countries.

On Friday, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said decisions on the possible deployment of German Patriot batteries in Ukraine rested with member states.

"Conrete decisions about air defence lie within national competencies," Stoltenberg said.