"Today we are starting to equip Poland with the most modern mid-range air defense system in the world," Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the signing ceremony.
In their earlier statements, the Polish leadership revealed that new air defense systems would be deployed near the border with Russia.
The deal has been finally sealed after in February, the Polish National Defense Ministry secured an unspecified cost reduction in Patriot systems from the US, as well as agreed on the acceleration of delivery time. A top Polish defense official previously blasted the $10.5 billion price tag for 208 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles, 16 launchers, a few radars and other associated software systems as "unacceptable."
The United States has been further boosting its military presence in Europe, particularly as part of NATO, since 2014, while using the Ukrainian crisis as a pretext for the deployment of additional hardware near Russia's borders.
Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov stated that plans to deploy US Patriot systems in Poland are a part of the US strategic intention to surround Russia with missile defense systems "under the pretext of mythical threats to security."