Should German Patriot anti-aircraft systems be delivered directly to Ukraine instead of Poland? NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg does not see this as “impossible”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg leaves it to Germany to decide to deliver more air defense systems to Ukraine. According to him, this will not be basically a taboo. On Friday, he said he was pleased that Berlin wanted to hand over Patriot systems to Poland. Whether these go directly to Ukraine, as Poland wants, is a matter of individual governments.
Germany de facto offered Poland the systems to secure its airspace after rockets hit the Ukrainian border area. However, Warsaw suggested that the Patriot battery be transported directly to Ukraine to support the country in the war against Russia.
Federal government wanted to discuss delivery with Allies
Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht reacted cautiously. The SPD politician said on Thursday that the Patriots are part of NATO’s integrated air defense and are aimed at NATO territory. Any use outside the Alliance should be discussed with the Allies.
Stoltenberg contradicted Lambrecht’s position: NATO countries had already delivered various air defense systems to Ukraine, and he referred, among other things, to the German Iris-T SLM system. If specialists are needed to operate the air defense system, Ukrainians can be trained in a NATO country.
Poland: Germany decides
Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Friday in Vilnius that Germany should decide where to install Patriot air defense systems. “Militarily, placing these missiles at a certain distance from the Polish border on Ukrainian territory would also be best for the protection of Polish territory.”
A government spokesman said in Berlin on Friday that the German government was talking about Poland’s proposal to hand over the Patriot systems to Ukraine.
Stoltenberg: Arms delivery national decision
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed that the decision whether to hand over a system to Ukraine is a “national decision”. For example, if there are end-user agreements between the seller state and the buyer state, consultations with other allies should be undertaken. These may, for example, regulate that a weapon system cannot be resold without permission.
Stoltenberg has expressed his openness in the past to provide significantly greater support to Ukraine with Western weapons systems. “By ensuring that Russia does not win in Ukraine, we are increasing our own security and strengthening the alliance,” Stoltenberg said at the time.
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