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    This picture taken on March 21, 2015 shows 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

    What is Behind Poland's Push to Buy Costly US Patriot Missiles?

    © AFP 2018 / JANEK SKARZYNSKI
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    Washington has sent the paperwork over to Poland for a 10.5 billion dollar deal for its Patriot missile systems. Polish historian Bohdan Pietka told Sputnik that Warsaw is bearing the burden in order to support the White House's plan for Europe.

    Polish historian Bohdan Pietka did not rule out that Warsaw's decision to buy the costly US-made Patriot interceptors may be followed by "other no less expensive [military hardware-related] purchases.

    "Undoubtedly, this is a huge financial burden, but one should pay attention to the fact that Polish authorities are poised to carry it for the sake of implementing Washington's policy in Central and Eastern Europe," Pietka said.

    He recalled that Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz has repeatedly frightened Poles with tales of "a terrible Russian threat."

    US soldier stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery at an army base in Morag, Poland.
    © AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski
    US soldier stands next to a Patriot surface-to-air missile battery at an army base in Morag, Poland.

    "Openly talking about the threat of aggression, he justifies such costs [on the Patriot systems] in the eyes of Polish society," Pietka added.

    When asked to comment on Polish politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke's Patriot systems-related remarks that "today, success means to sell, not buy," Pietka said that he is "absolutely right."

    "This is a very good business for the US and its military concerns [given that] Poland's military industry has significantly been restricted over the past 30 years," Pietka added.

    Soldiers watch a US Patriot missile being unloaded in a Polish Army military unit in Morag, northern Poland. File photo.
    © AP Photo / Marek Lis
    Soldiers watch a US Patriot missile being unloaded in a Polish Army military unit in Morag, northern Poland. File photo.

    Describing Poland as "an excellent territory for US military concerns to do business," he said that it is endorsed by "the ruling politicians in Poland, including the Minister of National Defense, an active supporter of this type of cooperation with the United States."

    READ MORE: Poland to Create Missile Defense System Based on US Patriot System in 10 Years

    Earlier this week, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told Sputnik that Washington's plans to deploy Patriot systems in Poland are a part of the US strategic plan to surround Russia with missile defense systems "under the pretext of mythical threats to security."

    READ MORE: Poland May Receive 1st US Patriot Missile Defense Battery in 2019

    The Polish Ministry of National Defense and the US Department of Defense signed an agreement on the delivery of Patriot missile defense systems to Warsaw in July 2017 during US President Donald Trump's visit to Poland.  According to the initial deal, the Patriot systems should be handed over to Poland by 2022.

    The Patriot is a long-range, all-altitude, air defense system capable of countering tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft.

    Related:

    US Approves $10.5Bln Patriot Missile Defense System Sale to Poland
    US Uses 'Mythical' Security Threats to Deploy Patriot Systems in Poland - Moscow
    What's Behind US Deploying Patriot Missiles to Baltics for the First Time
    Poland to Create Missile Defense System Based on US Patriot System in 10 Years
    Tags:
    industry, threat, policy, authorities, burden, missile systems, Patriot, United States, Poland
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