Poland said Monday that Germany will deploy a US-made Patriot air defense missile system to the Polish border with Ukraine. The agreement comes less than a week after a Ukrainian air defense missile hit a grain depot in a Polish village, killing two people.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter that he accepted the offer to deploy a Patriot system from his German counterpart with “satisfaction.”
The agreement comes as tensions have been high between Poland and Germany. Warsaw has criticized the government of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for being too hesitant to arm Ukraine, and Poland recently asked Germany for $1.3 trillion in war reparations from World War II.
Despite the spats, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said Monday that Poland is a “friend and ally” of Berlin in a statement on the Patriot deployment. She said the technical details of the agreement are still being worked out.
The incident in Poland led to the first major rift between Ukraine and its Western backers. When the news initially broke that a missile first hit Poland, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his top advisors framed it as a deliberate Russian attack and called for NATO action. The US reportedly told Ukrainian officials to “tread carefully” in response to the hysteria.
Even after the US, Poland, and NATO said Ukrainian air defenses likely fired the missile that hit Poland, Zelensky doubled down and insisted it wasn’t Ukrainian. He later backed down slightly, admitting that he didn’t know for certain whose missile it was.
This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com and is republished with permission.