WARSAW, Poland — Poland has joined a growing group of countries declaring they will supply weapons to Ukraine amid the country’s tensions with Russia.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced the country’s government approved on Feb. 1 the delivery of Piorun (Thunderbolt) short-range, man-portable air defense (MANPAD) systems and munition to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“Good news. The Council of Ministers has approved, on my request, a resolution on aid to Ukraine,” Błaszczak said in a tweet.
The latest move follows the declaration made by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during his Feb. 1 meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
“We are ready to supply to Ukraine several dozen thousand rounds of ammunition and artillery ammunition, air defense systems, and also light mortars and reconnaissance drones,” Morawiecki said, as quoted in a statement released by his office.
In December 2016, the Polish Ministry of National Defence awarded a contract worth about 932 million zloty (U.S. $232 million) to local defense company Mesko to order Pioruns for the country’s military. The Piorun is an upgraded version of the Grom MANPAD. Mesko is a subsidiary of Poland’s state-run defense group PGZ.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.