The Bundeswehr, the German army, has started to relocate Patriot air defence systems to Poland, the dpa press agency has reported, quoting a German government source.
The first German soldiers, who are to man the air defence batteries in Poland, should leave Bad Suelze in the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania, later on Monday, the dpa added.
The Patriot systems, which are to be deployed in the Lublin area of southeast Poland, are to reach Poland “in the coming days.”
According to the dpa, a total of three batteries will be deployed to ensure the security of the critical infrastructure of a Nato ally (Poland) in a region that borders Ukraine.
The German government offered the US-made Patriots to Warsaw after a stray missile, believed to be Ukrainian, crashed to earth in eastern Poland in November, killing two.
Poland wanted to send the Patriots to Ukraine instead but Germany did not agree to Poland’s proposal.