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23 May, 2024 09:01

NATO could shoot down Russian missiles – ministry

Poland is discussing a request to use its air defense systems over Ukrainian territory, a spokesperson has said 
NATO could shoot down Russian missiles – ministry

Poland is considering using its air defense systems to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukrainian territory, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Pawel Wronski told the Ukrinform news outlet on Wednesday.     

Wronski was addressing recent remarks by Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky, who has called on his country’s Western backers to deploy their defense systems to intercept Russian missiles over Ukraine.      

According to the Polish Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Warsaw is discussing the possibility of such a move.     

“This issue is being considered from a legal and technical point of view,” Wronski said, noting that Kiev has previously asked Warsaw to use its air defenses bordering Russia. He added, however, that a decision has yet to be made on the matter.    

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba insisted on Tuesday that Kiev’s foreign backers have “every right” to use air defenses on their territory to shoot down Russian missiles over Ukraine.     

According to Wronski, Warsaw has been discussing the legal ramifications of such a move since March, when the Polish military alleged that a Russian air-launched cruise missile had entered the country’s airspace for around 40 seconds.     

The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Andreev over the incident, although the diplomat declined the meeting after Warsaw refused to provide evidence.     

The Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly urged the West to send them air defense systems and missiles, particularly US-made Patriot missile defense systems.    

Wronski clarified that Poland is not considering transferring any of its air defense units to Ukrainian territory.    

“There is no discussion of this in Poland at all. There is no possibility of the Polish air defense system being outside the country’s borders,” he said.    

Polish President Andrzej Duda reiterated last week that Warsaw cannot give Ukraine any Patriot systems because it does not have the full system for its own defense.     

Duda said Poland has already donated $4 billion worth of weapons to Ukraine, including more than 300 battle tanks and Soviet-designed MiG 29 fighter jets.