Policies pursued by Russian President Vladimir Putin are aimed at restoring the Russian empire, believes Poland's Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak.
"Undoubtedly, the policy of President [Vladimir] Putin is aimed at the reconstruction of the Russian empire," Błaszczak told Polish Radio 24, recalling that today's Russia eagerly refers to the Soviet times.
As he emphasized, the recent events sparked anxiety in the country.
Read also U.S. reacts to Russia's statement on withdrawal of troops from Ukraine's borders The minister recalled Russia's attack on Georgia in 2008 and on Ukraine – in 2014.
He also quoted the late president, Lech Kaczyński, who once said: "[F]irst Georgia, then Ukraine, then the Baltic states, then perhaps Poland "-
"Hence, we anticipate such activities through our activity within the North Atlantic Alliance, through our activity on missions, through modernizing and equipping the Polish Army and by increasing manpower," the minister added.
He spoke of the changes NATO pursued since Russia's attacks on Georgia and Ukraine.
"There are allied forces on NATO's eastern flank. There are American troops in Poland, there are British troops, there are Romanian and Croatian troops, we are present in Latvia, we are present in Romania [...] We show that we are close, prepared and in solidarity with each other. In this way, we deter a potential aggressor," said Mariusz Błaszczak.
Russia's military maneuvers: Background
- Ukraine ready for war, but won't stop fighting for peace in Donbas through diplomacy – Zelensky
- Almost half of Ukrainians consider Russia's attack real threat – poll
- Russia launches drills off occupied Crimea coast (Video)
- Russia announces withdrawal of troops from Ukraine's border
- NATO says Russia's decision to pull back troops "overdue"
- "Ukraine mustn't relax": General on Russian troops pullback
- Zelensky's chief of staff comments on Russian forces' withdrawal news
- Kremlin wrapping up drills: What Ukraine should get ready for
- U.S. reacts to Russia's statement on withdrawal of troops from Ukraine's borders
Translation: Yevgeny Matyushenko