Poland to put German Patriot missiles near border with Ukraine

Polish Defence Minister Blaszczak attends a meeting with Ukraine's President Zelenskiy in Kyiv

WARSAW (Reuters) -NATO allies Poland and Germany have agreed to deploy additional Patriot missile launchers near the Polish border with Ukraine following an offer from Berlin, Poland's defence minister said on Monday.

"The German Defence Minister confirmed her willingness to deploy the Patriot launcher at the border with Ukraine," Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter.

"The version of the system remains to be determined, as does how quickly they will reach us and how long they will be stationed."

Berlin offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defence system to help secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday.

The German government had already said it would offer its eastern neighbour further help in air policing with German Eurofighters after the incident, which initially raised fears that the war in Ukraine could spill across the border.

The missile that hit Poland last week, killing two people, appeared to have been fired accidentally by Ukraine's air defences rather than to have been a Russian strike, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said.

Ground-based air defence systems such as Raytheon's Patriot are built to intercept incoming missiles.

(Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz and Alan Charlish; Editing by Alex Richardson and Gareth Jones)