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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.

    Poland May Sign Deal on First Patriot Missile Systems Delivery by 2018

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    Warsaw and Washington may sign an agreement on the delivery of the first US Patriot missile systems to Poland by the end of 2017, Bartosz Kownacki, the Polish deputy defense minister, said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On July 6, Poland and the United States signed a memorandum on the Patriot missile systems deliveries. The protocol stipulates a two-phased process of the delivery, namely, during the first stage, the US side is set to send Poland two Patriot missile batteries, consisting of four launchers.

    "We should strive to sign the contract by the end of the year," Kownacki told Radio Poland, referring to the first phase of deliveries.

    Kownacki noted that on Wednesday the Polish side adopted revised provisions on the two stages of the Patriot systems’ purchase and the rules had already been sent to the US side.

    Poland plans to strike a $7.5-billion deal with the United States to buy eight Patriot batteries. Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz expressed hope to receive the missile systems by 2022 and to see them in operation readiness by 2023.

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

    Following the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, NATO has been boosting its military presence in in Eastern European states, citing Russia's alleged interference in that conflict as justification for the move. A decision of the alliance to deploy four multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland was announced by Stoltenberg after the NATO summit in July 2016.

    Moscow has repeatedly warned that amassing troops and military equipment on its borders is provocative, violates past NATO pledges, and can lead to regional and global destabilization.

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    Patriot missile system, Poland, United States
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