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Poland to Strengthen Defense Capability on Eastern Border in 2016

Sputnik News

05:37 05.01.2016

Poland is planning to create new units of territorial defense on the eastern border in 2016 and to transfer the acting brigades there with an aim to become one of the largest NATO armies, the country's defense minister said.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Poland has been a member of NATO since 1997.

'[Poland is planning] to create three additional units of the territorial defense on our eastern border, along with a simultaneous shift in the direction of the acting armed forces. We do not want the servicemen to be concentrated on the western border, as it was in 1989,' Antoni Macierewicz told the Polska Zbrojna magazine on Monday.

Macierewicz also supported the idea of significantly increasing the number of Polish armed forces, from the current 80,000 servicemen to some 150,000.

Speaking about Warsaw's possible involvement in the anti-terrorist operation in Syria, the minister said Warsaw would support France, which is actively engaged in the anti-terrorism struggle amid the November 13 Paris attacks, if Paris supports Poland ' for example, on the issue of NATO troops deployment on the territory of Poland.'

NATO has been increasing its presence in Eastern Europe since Crimea's reunification with Russia in March 2014, as the West refused to recognize a legitimate referendum and blamed Moscow for violating Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Russia has denied the allegations and has repeatedly stated that the bloc's increased activities near its borders undermine regional and international stability.


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