President: Patriot deal a historic moment
It is a unique and historic moment that ushers Poland into a new world of ultra-modern technology and weaponry, Polish President Andrzej Duda said of the Poland-US Patriot air and missile defence system deal signed on Wednesday. The value of the deal is USD 4.75 billion.
Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak signed a contract for the purchase of US Patriot air and missile defence systems as part of the Polish Wisla (Vistula) air defence programme. Present at the signing ceremony were President Andrzej Duda, PM Mateusz Morawiecki, National Security Bureau head Pawel Soloch, government officials and army commanders.
See also: Address by the President of the Republic of Poland at the ceremony of signing the Patriot supply contract "Today we start equipping Poland with the most modern defence system (...) in the world, and what is most important, one that has been tested many times," Andrzej Duda stressed.
"It's a huge step forward for the whole Polish armed forces when we speak of building a modern and well-equipped army (...)," the President said. "What we are saying is that we will equip it with such weaponry," Andrzej Duda stressed.
Patriot batteries and other elements of Poland's defence will create "a protective shield against an air assault of any kind," he added.
The Polish President said that the cost of the US Patriot air and missile defence systems is huge, but "we know that security has no price."
"This is a lot of money, but we know, also from our historical experience, that security has no price. Let me express my gratitude to the negotiating team, Minister Blaszczak and former Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz," the President said.
The Patriot system is to constitute the basis of Poland's air defence for decades, the President said. "We enter the ranks of the elite states that own it," he declared."
Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Andrzej Duda commented on his meeting with US President Donald Trump. "Being aware of the how expensive this purchase may be, I told the president that we need a good price and the right conditions to carry it out," he reported, adding that Trump had assured him it would be possible to negotiate good conditions. "And we've managed to do it," he concluded. (PAP)