Poland must improve air defences to be ‘as secure as Israel’

Poland aims to improve its air defences until it is “as secure as Israel,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in Warsaw on Tuesday, following a cabinet meeting on national security.

Tusk noted that Israel had intercepted almost all missiles and drones fired at it by Iran over the weekend, while Ukraine, Poland’s neighbour to the south, is only able to intercept a third of Russian missiles.

“Our task today consists in using every system for the defence of Polish airspace to make Poland as secure as Israel,” he said. The conclusion to be drawn was that airspace had to be controlled to improve Poland’s security, he said.

Tusk added that Poland was interested in joining the German “European Sky Shield” initiative, which would include several European countries acquiring Germany’s Iris-T missiles with the aim of securing European airspace.

Poland has been a staunch military ally of Ukraine in its attempt to fight off the Russian invasion over the past two years. It is also an important hub for Western arms deliveries to Ukraine. Poland is thus seen by Russia as a potential enemy.

Germany has provided Ukraine with Iris-T missile systems and has pledged further deliveries.

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