Russia has warned that a build up of US troop in Poland ‘undermines stability in Europe’ and it will not stand idly by.
This week US President Donald Trump told the Polish President Andrzej Duda that he was sending an additional 1,000 troops to Poland to join the 4,000 forces already there.
Press TV reports: The US will also send a squadron of MQ-9 Reaper Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance drones as well.
The announcement drew response from Russia, which said on Thursday that “its military is tracking these announcements very closely.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow “is analyzing the information, and is doing what is necessary so that such steps in no way threaten the Russian Federation’s security.”
Sergei Ryabkov, a Russian deputy foreign minister, also said that Trump’s move probably reflected “aggressive” intentions.
Russia’s foreign ministry regarded Trump’s decision for more deployment as betrayal of Russia’s core agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1997.
Under the deal, NATO had agreed not to permanently deploy significant military forces on the territory of new member states.
“The headquarters structures that will be set up in Poland under this reinforcement will deliver much greater potential,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Such actions undermine one of the few remaining documents designed to ensure military stability in Europe” said the statement, adding that Russia could not “fail to take this into account in its defense planning and practical activities.”
“We see in this signs of preparation for further large-scale deployments,” it added.
Russian parliamentarians separately reacted to the decision, with one lawmaker threatening to make Poland a target in the event of a military conflict.
“In the event of any conflict, God forbid, the territory of Poland would become a clear target for a retaliatory strike, if there was suddenly an attack on us,” said Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the upper house of parliament’s international affairs committee.
Another lawmaker, Vladimir Shamanov, raised concern that the US drones could be capable of carrying nuclear weapons at some point, warning that this would gradually lead the world “towards a dangerous moment.”
Russia has formerly warned that any increased US-led NATO military presence in Poland could prompt it to step up its military presence in neighboring Belarus.