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Polish Prime Minister Wants Poland To Join The European Sky Shield Initiative

16.04.2024 23:27

Donald Tusk says he wants Poland to join European Sky after President Andrzej Duda downplays idea.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Tuesday he wants to join the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), rebutting an earlier statement by President Andrzej Duda, according to media reports.

The idea of a European missile defense shield was presented at the end of August 2022 in Poland by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Twenty-one countries have declared their participation. In February, Türkiye and Greece announced participation in the program.

The air defense system currently being prepared by Poland consists mainly of medium- and short-range systems, while European Sky Shield also assumes the purchase of long-range systems.

Duda criticized the program earlier Tuesday and called it a "German business project."

The head of the presidential National Security Bureau, Jacek Siewiera, said Tuesday that "it is impossible to build a European dome without radar components on NATO's eastern flank."

Poland initially did not join the European program. Deputy Minister of National Defense in the previous Law and Justice (PiS)-led government, Wojciech Skurkiewicz, argued that Poland's anti-missile defense was to be based primarily on the Narew systems -- short-range anti-aircraft missile systems; and Wisla, based on the Patriot systems with PAC-3 MSE missiles from the US company, Lockheed Martin.

Conflict between the Tusk-led government and PiS-allied president has been a feature of Polish politics since elections last fall.

Tusk's government has said it wants to be a key part of developing an independent European military capability after US feet-dragging on aid to Ukraine and the possibility of a Donald Trump victory in American elections later this year, which some argue could undermine NATO's unity.​​​​​​​ -

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