President of Poland Thanks Germany for Patriot Air Defense Missile Systems

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (R) and President of Poland Andrzej Duda hold a press conference after their meeting at the Bellevue Palace. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday thanked Germany for the planned deployment of the Patriot air defense missile systems to his country, a move first suggested after a wayward missile hit Polish territory in November.

“For us in Poland, this is a very important gesture by an ally and a very important gesture on the part of our neighbour,” Duda said after a meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Monday.

Following the missile strike which killed two people, the German and Polish defense ministers agreed to deploy parts of Germany’s Patriot missile defense system on Polish soil.

This Tuesday, a Bundeswehr reconnaissance team is to travel to the neighbouring country to inspect suitable locations.

Steinmeier thanked Duda for his “very prudent attitude” following the missile strike near the border with Ukraine. Poland opened the way for the deployment after it backed down on a suggestion that the system be located on Ukrainian soil, instead of on Polish territory.

The projectile is thought to have been a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used to defend against attacks by the Russian military.

Duda advised Germany to prepare for a new wave of refugees from Ukraine this winter, saying “people are fleeing from the frost, from death and from Russian missiles and bombs.”

Poland has received the largest number of Ukrainian refugees, but many thousands have travelled on to Germany.

“In the cold winter months, it is now important that Germany and Poland stand by the people in Ukraine,” Steinmeier said.



Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH