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    American Patriot missiles deployed in Poland

    Polish President Enhances His Campaign by Pledging to Buy US Missiles

    © RIA Novosti . Igor Zarembo
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    Poland will negotiate with the United States an agreement to purchase a set of medium-range Patriot air defense systems, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said Tuesday.

    Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski announced during a press conference Tuesday that Poland would buy US Patriot missiles as part of rearmament program.

    Last year, Poland short-listed the Patriot manufacturer Raytheon and a consortium of France's Thales and European group MBDA in its tender for the missile defense system, which is worth about $5 billion. According to the Polish defense ministry's official site, the US offer was acknowledged to be the best one from the viewpoint of the country's security interests and NATO obligations.

    An important criterion in the missile assessment process was the ability to combat the Russian Iskander-type missiles, PAP news agency reports. "Modernization of the armed forces is our response to the threat from the east", Komorowski said at the press conference.

    Experts asked by Wirtualna Polska news portal agree the announcement is part of Komorowski's presidential campaign. "At a time of an armed conflict in Ukraine Bronislaw Komorowski wants to present himself as a strong commander-in-chief," political marketing specialist Wieslaw Galazka said.

    The presidential election in Poland is to be held on May 10, 2015. Leading in the polls are Komorowski (in office since 2010), and Andrzej Duda from the opposition Law and Justice party.

    In March, Polish and US troops held a joint drill involving a US Patriot missile battery to test the possible transfer of the missiles. The drill, held near Warsaw, was part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a series of multinational training and security operations designed to boost Western military presence on NATO's eastern flank.

    Russia has raised concerns over the close proximity of the ballistic missile systems to its borders, pointing out that deployments could upset regional strategic balance.

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    Tags:
    presidential campaign, defense, election, Patriot missile system, Iskander-M, Bronislaw Komorowski, Poland, United States
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