The United States will deliver eight MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system to Poland by 2022 in a deal worth up to $7.6 billion. According to the Polish Defense Ministry, the deal was inked by U.S. President Donald Trump during his visit to Poland.
The announcement came one day before Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump are expected to meet during the G20 summit in Germany. The Kremlin expects both leaders will establish “a working dialogue, which is probably vital for all the world in terms of improving efficiency in resolving a critical mass of conflicts and problems.”
“A memorandum was signed tonight that the US government has agreed to sell [to] Poland Patriot missiles in the most modern configuration,” Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz stated, according to Reuters.
According to the Financial Times, Macierewicz said the system has already been adapted to the needs of the Polish Army.
Both the United States and Poland have adopted an anti-Russian stance since Crimea voted to rejoin the Russian Federation and has been countering the alleged Russian destabilizing behavior in the region.
Polish President Andrzej Duda is concerned about its security due to “growing aggression and a growing threat from the East,” a clear message aimed at Russia.
The MIM-104 Patriot missile system is built by U.S. firm Raytheon. A PAC-2 missile can reach targets up to 160 km at Mach 4.1 and has a 200 lb warhead.
Warsaw believes the acquisition of the surface-to-air missile system is one of the main feature of its armed forces modernization by 2023.
Moscow Reacts to Patriot Deal
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov immediately reacted to Duda’s comment about its “destabilizing behavior” comment, and said Russia does not “agree with this approach.”
Russia has been repeatedly condemning NATO’s eastward march especially in the Baltic States and, more importantly, the deployment of the MIM-104 Patriot missile system in Eastern Europe.
Moscow is presently preparing for the upcoming joint strategic drills Zapad-2017, which will be held in Belarus later this year.