Poland and Romania are leading Eastern European efforts to boost allied air and anti-missile defense capabilities. The two countries have been closely cooperating with NATO and are set to host US-made interceptors on their soil largely as a response to Russia’s military intervention in neighboring Ukraine.
Meanwhile, local analysts said that while Poland has accelerated efforts to enhance its missile defense capability following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Warsaw is far from acquiring sufficient capacities in this field.
“The decision to purchase an air and anti-missile defense system should result from a comprehensive national defense strategy, and a risk assessment process focused on potential threats and the countries they might originate from,” said Łukasz Kister, an independent security analyst who cooperates with the Jagiellonian Institute, a Warsaw-based think tank.
“Russia is currently making efforts to upgrade its missile capabilities in Kaliningrad, but Poland could obtain Patriot missiles not earlier than in 2022,” Kister said.
In 2013, Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted an unnamed senior Russian Defense Ministry official as saying that the Russian military had deployed Iskander-M tactical ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave that borders Poland and Lithuania.