Defence

Germany will support the defense of Poland’s airspace

Germany said on Monday it had reached an agreement to help Poland defend its skies after a deadly missile strike near the border with Ukraine.

Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that Berlin “will send Patriot anti-aircraft systems to Poland and will support the protection of Polish airspace with Eurofighter jet fighters.”

Two people were killed last week when a rocket landed in the Polish village of Przewodow, six kilometers (four miles) from the Ukrainian border.

Warsaw and NATO said the explosion was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile launched to intercept the Russian barrier, but that Moscow was ultimately to blame because it started the conflict.

Before agreeing on the agreement, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that he “welcomed Germany’s offer with pleasure.”

Blaszczak said on Twitter that he was proposing to “place the systems near the border with Ukraine.”

Germany has already sent Patriot anti-aircraft units to Slovakia, where Berlin hopes to continue their deployment longer than planned.

The air defense systems are to remain in Slovakia “until the end of 2023 and potentially even beyond,” Lambrecht told the Rheinische Post daily.

“We have the greatest responsibility to ensure that NATO does not become a party to this conflict,” by strengthening its air defenses, she said.

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