Poland signs memo to buy Patriot missiles from US: report

Poland signs memo to buy Patriot missiles from US: report
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The Trump administration has agreed to sell medium-range Patriot missiles to Poland to upgrade the country’s air defenses, Reuters reported.

Poland's defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said Thursday that the United States and Poland signed a memorandum Wednesday for the missiles, made by U.S. defense contractor Raytheon.

“I am glad that I can pass on this information on the day of President's Trump visit to Warsaw,” Macierewicz said in a news conference broadcast on Poland public television.

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The deal, which has not yet been signed, is expected to be worth nearly $8 billion.

Poland said in March it expects to sign a $7.6 billion deal with Raytheon to buy eight Patriot missile defense systems by the end of this year.

The announcement comes as Trump meets with Eastern European officials, including Polish President Andrzej Duda, in Warsaw on defense and energy initiatives. Trump will then attend the G-20 summit in Germany on Friday and Saturday.

Thirteen countries, including five NATO partners, already own Patriot systems, and more nations intend to purchase the missiles.

Romania said in April it plans to buy Patriot missiles to help protect its airspace.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has called the missile defense systems in Eastern Europe a "great danger." Putin also threatened to enhance Russia's own missile strike capability in response.