The United States welcomes the recent signing in Warsaw of an agreement concluding Phase I of Poland’s purchase of the Patriot missile defense system, worth 4.6 billion dollars.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert noted in a statement that this “includes a brand new, state of the art command and control system for Poland’s air and missile defense.”
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda called the weapons agreement “an extraordinary, historic moment” that will allow his country to modernize its defense capabilities. He said, “It’s a lot of money, but we also know from our historical experience that security has no price.”
Poland, in view of its geography and history, has always taken its security needs seriously. It already meets NATO’s Wales and Warsaw Commitments to spend at least two percent of GDP on defense and at least twenty percent of that on procurement and infrastructure. Poland is in the process of a multi-year, multi-billion dollar defense modernization effort.
After Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian forces in Eastern Ukraine, Poland stepped up its drive to modernize and fortify its defenses.
Poland is a NATO ally and a member of the European Union. Spokesperson Nauert said the signing of the Patriot system agreement “will strengthen the security and capabilities of the United States, Poland and NATO along the Alliance’s Eastern Flank. It reflects Poland’s investment in sharing the burden of collective defense through its ongoing defense modernization program to which Poland devotes more than 20% of its defense budget, and is the culmination of commitments made in conjunction with the meeting between Presidents Trump and Duda in Warsaw in July 2017. It also creates jobs in both the United States and Poland,” she said.
U.S. Ambassador to Poland Paul Jones called the signing of the Patriot agreement “a milestone for Poland and NATO,” and noted that negotiations on Phase II of the agreement dealing with radar, additional missiles and batteries will take place in April. Ambassador Jones emphasized that Poland and the United States “are allies forever.”