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    Polish soldiers watch as US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland, on March 21, 2015.

    Raytheon-Poland Missile Deal Signals That NATO Article 5 'Still Matters'

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    Experts say that US defense company Raytheon’s future sale of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Poland is a warning to Russia that NATO’s Article 5, stipulating an attack on one member is an attack on all, matters.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US defense company Raytheon’s future sale of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Poland is a warning to Russia that NATO’s Article 5, stipulating an attack on one member is an attack on all, matters, experts told Sputnik.

    “Shoring up the NATO allies will send an important signal to Moscow: Article 5 still matters,” American University US Foreign Policy Professor Gordon Adams said on Wednesday. “There’s no downside to this sale.”

    On Tuesday, Poland agreed to purchase US Patriot surface-to-air missiles from Raytheon, reportedly worth $7 billion. Raytheon President Dan Crowley issued a statement saying the company will work with Poland to address the country’s long-term national security objectives.

    Adams explained the situation would be different if the United States wanted forces positioned in Central Europe on a permanent basis, but it will not pursue that option.

    “It is also important to maintain a dialogue with Moscow, so the signals are understood and not over-interpreted,” Adams said.

    But, Center for Strategic and International Studies International Security Program Senior Fellow Thomas Karako told Sputnik that Poland’s Patriot missiles purchase is a warning to Moscow over its involvement in Ukraine.

    “It says that these deployments of NATO troops and defensive capabilities have the potential to threaten their commitment to Article 5.”

    Karako noted that Poland’s purchase of defense weapons is not an isolated case as Germany will likely follow suit with a similar deal in a couple of months.

    “While it’s the case Russia has very robust tactical and strategic military capability, nevertheless this makes good sense for individual NATO members to pursue some air and missile defenses regardless of the source,” he added.

    Karako also said it is important to distinguish between Russian air-strike missiles and the purely defensive air and missile defense weapon systems Poland will obtain from Raytheon.

    “You cannot use a Patriot to attack someone, and anyone who pretends otherwise is silly,” Karako explained. “Poland has expressed interest in more capabilities like the JASSM Missile and understandably so with cruise missiles.”

    Given how relations between Russia and some European states have developed, he said, “It makes sense for NATO to pursue this investment.”

    On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry that the arrival of US Military Instructors in Ukraine displays a violation by Kiev over its obligation to remove all foreign equipment and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory.

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    Tags:
    NATO, Patriot missile system, Russia, Poland
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