Russia has declared a state of emergency over the increasingly hostile U.S. military build-up in Poland, calling the presence a “threat to national security.”
The Kremlin have expressed concern that the 2,700 troops arriving on their border as part of operation Atlantic Resolve is secretly intended to incite a nuclear war between Russia and the West.
Yahoo News reports:
The Kremlin, which has previously criticised NATO for its reinforcement in Eastern Europe, said on Thursday the deployment was an aggressive step along its borders.
“We consider this a threat to us,” Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin’s spokesman, told journalists on a conference call. “We are talking here about a third country stepping up its military presence in Europe near our borders.”
MATTER OF INFLUENCE
Modernization of the army has been a key priority for Poland’s year-old government run by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which built its popularity partly on promising greater security capabilities.
On Thursday, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said on the state TVP Info news channel that the NATO deployment puts an end to Russia’s influence in the region.
“Even after 1989 we had to continuously wonder whether the Russians won’t veto this or that action,” said Macierewicz, who has been seeking better ties and contracts with the U.S. military.
“Russia’s veto power in Central Europe, in Poland, has ended once and for all.”
Moscow, however, has already deployed in retaliation nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its European exclave of Kaliningrad, in a move the U.S. State Department said was “destabilising to European security.”
The U.S. deployment to NATO’s eastern flank includes more than 80 main battle tanks and hundreds of armored vehicles. The military unit will rotate through several countries, including Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania.
“Their arrival is just one small but meaningful example of how we are quickly building combat power here,” Norrie said.