Poland and Greece urge EU to create common air shield, says Polish PM

FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish and Greek prime ministers submitted a letter to the European Commision on Thursday urging the creation of a Europe-wide air defence system, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said.

The importance of air defence has been in sharper focus for Poland, which borders Ukraine and has seen missiles enter its airspace.

"I sent a letter to the European Commission, together with (Greek) Prime Minister Mitsotakis, regarding a common European defence policy," Tusk said during an interview with TVP Info on Thursday evening.

"There is already a very positive reaction from the European Commission to make anti-missile air defence a common task for Europe, because it is a huge amount of money," he added.

He also said European countries should stop competing while creating their air defence systems and start cooperation, including on joint investments in the defence industry.

"We need less fragmentation and common projects. Like an air defence shield as proposed by Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Donald Tusk," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on social media platform X on Thursday.

In April Tusk said Polish generals and the head of the National Security Bureau Jacek Siewiera had told him it was a good idea for Poland to be part of several air defence projects.

"Only a strong, united Europe that pursues a common defence policy... will be able to prevent war. We are preparing for war not because this war is going to happen, but so that it won't happen," Tusk said on Thursday.

(Reporting by Anna Koper; Editing by Daniel Wallis)