Germany to end deployment of Patriot air defence units in Poland
Germany has announced that it will end the deployment of three Patriot air defence units to Poland after nearly a year, according to the German defence ministry. This confirms earlier plans to withdraw the units. Since the beginning of the year, around 300 German soldiers have been stationed in the Polish town of Zamosc, approximately 50 km from the Ukrainian border, to protect the town and its vital railway link to Ukraine. The deployment was initiated after a stray Ukrainian missile hit the Polish village of Przewodow in the region last November, raising concerns about the conflict in Ukraine spreading across the border.
In August, the German ministry stated that the deployment was unlikely to extend beyond the end of this year. The Patriot systems will either be needed for use by NATO’s rapid reaction response force in 2024 or will require maintenance. The German soldiers will conclude their operations on Friday and begin redeploying from next week, the ministry confirmed.
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius expressed his satisfaction with the positive reception received by the German soldiers in Zamosc from the Polish military and local residents. However, relations between Germany and Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party have been strained on various issues, including arms deliveries to Kyiv and an EU migration deal rejected by Warsaw.
Poland is expected to undergo a change in government after the October 15 election, in which the PiS party won the most seats in the lower house of parliament but fell short of a majority. All other parties have ruled out forming a coalition with PiS.