UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Iran Press TV

Polish FM calls for more NATO troops near Russia border

Iran Press TV

Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:10AM

The Polish foreign minister has called on NATO to step up its military build-up in East Europe to counter what he called "existential" threats posed by Russia to the continent.

"The presence of troops from various NATO countries could be a symbol of determination to defend the eastern flank," said Witold Waszczykowski while addressing the annual Globsec security forum in Slovak capital Bratislava on Friday, Poland's state news agency PAP reported.

He added that the scale of such deployment could be discussed during the Western military alliance's July Summit in Warsaw.

The top Polish diplomat further made a comparison between Moscow and the Daesh terror group mainly active in Iraq and Syria, adding: "We have existential threats and non-existential threats. Of course the Russian activity is kind of an existential threat because this activity may destroy countries," he added.

Waszczykowski rejected terrorism and the refugee influx in Europe as immediate threats to the continent.

The minister further said the deployment of NATO forces in the region should not be considered as a provocation against Moscow, but rather a decisive military measure aimed at deterring potential aggressors.

"Showing weakness," he said, "is often seen as an incentive for aggression."

Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky also stated at the same summit that Russia was actively "testing the defensive capabilities of NATO in the Baltic region."

Russia plans to use its rare talks with NATO officials next week to protest the alliance's "absolutely unjustified" military buildup in the Baltic states under the pretext of the Ukrainian crisis, according to Moscow's ambassador to Belgium.

Relations between Russia and NATO specially soured after Crimea separated from Ukraine and rejoined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.

The military alliance ended all practical cooperation with Russia over the ensuing crisis in Ukraine in April 2014. The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.

Russia has also repeatedly slammed NATO's military buildup near its borders, saying such a move poses a threat to both regional and international peace.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list