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NATO head gives green light for Patriots to Ukraine – Germany won’t budge

Germany argues it can not provide Ukraine with the Patriot air defence systems, previously offered to Poland, as Ukraine is not a member of NATO. However, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday, that such decision lies within competencies of individual countries.

The German government offered Poland a Patriot missile defence system to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed near a Polish village close to the Ukrainian border killing two people.

In turn, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak asked Germany to pass the Patriot batteries to Ukraine instead and deploy them on the country’s western border.

The #Polish defence minister has asked #Germany to give #Ukraine the #Patriot air defence system #Berlin offered to #Poland after a fatal missile blast killed two #Poles last week.

— TVP World (@TVPWorld_com) November 24, 2022

However, Berlin did not agree with Polish officials.

The German ambassador to Poland stated that “These Patriots are part of NATO’s defence capability. Using them outside this area is simply not realistic at this time.”

The ambassador pointed out that Patriots cannot be deployed to Ukraine because “they have to be operated by German soldiers…This is why the difference between the NATO area and anything outside the NATO area is so important,” he stressed, overlooking the fact that Ukrainians had previously been trained to operate other complex systems like the HIMARS rocket artillery.

Earlier, a similar opinion was voiced by German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht.

“These Patriots are part of NATO’s integrated air defence, meaning they are intended to be deployed on NATO territory,” the German defence minister said, adding that “Any use outside NATO territory would require prior discussions with NATO and the allies.”

On the other hand, Anton Hofreiter, chairman of the European Affairs Committee in the Bundestag, in an interview with Deutsche Welle on Friday, supported Warsaw’s proposal, deeming it “absolutely right”. He also pointed out that the Patriot systems would be a good complement to the IRIS-T systems already supplied to Ukraine.

NATO chief on the Patriot issue

The decision on whether to send Patriot air defence units to Ukraine lies with the specific nations, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday when asked about Polish demands for Germany to pass on Patriot units to Kyiv.

Patriot air defence missile units from Germany intended for NATO territory: Berlin

German Defence Minister said that the Patriot air defence units it offered to Poland is intended to be used only on NATO territory, countering the…

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“Sometimes there are end user agreements and other things, so they need to consult with other allies. But at the end of the day, it has to be taken by the national governments,” he added.

German internal politics

Poland’s former Minister of Defence, Romuald Szeremietiew, emphasised in an interview with that the Americans had just announced their decision to hand over Patriots to the Ukrainians, not seeing the problem of “NATO territory”.

“It is the Germans who are behaving strangely,” he assessed and argued that in Berlin they still believe in a military victory for Russia and a return to “business as usual” with the Kremlin.

There is no shortage of opinions that Germany, despite having one of the largest arms industries in the world, does not want to support the Ukrainians militarily. Instead, the foreign minister proposed to initiate “support for Ukraine’s energy supply” at the G7 summit.

Furthermore, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told US broadcaster CNN that, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German government initially preferred a quick military defeat of Ukraine to a protracted military conflict in the East, which was unfavourable to Berlin.

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