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    Polish Army soldiers check their tank after the NATO Noble Jump exercise on a training range near Swietoszow Zagan, Poland. file photo

    Warsaw Sounds the War Drums, Eyeing Russia in Run-Up to NATO Summit

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    The latest anti-Russian remarks by Poland's Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz reflect Warsaw's drive to belittle Russia's ever-increasing international clout, Polish political scientist Konrad Rekas told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Polish political scientist Konrad Rekas slammed his country's Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz for making unfriendly remarks about Russia, which he said mirror Poland's push to belittle Russia's growing international clout.

    The interview came ahead of the NATO summit, which is due to be held at the National Stadium in Warsaw between July 8 and 9.

    During the gathering, NATO is expected to formally approve the deployment of its four battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Discussing ways to deter alleged Russian aggression will also be high on the agenda.

    US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland.file photo
    © AFP 2019 / JANEK SKARZYNSKI
    US troops from the 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment emplace a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defence system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland.file photo

    Speaking to Sputnik, Rekas mentioned Macierewicz's interview with the Polish newspaper Nasz Dziennik (Our Journal), citing examples of bellicose rhetoric directed towards Russia, and comparing it with the country's previous policy of not irritating its neighbor.

    "His latest remarks are nothing new given that Macierewicz has repeatedly made statements aimed at showing the alleged leading role of modern-day Poland in the global approach with regard to Russia," he said.

    He also referred to Macierewicz's previous remarks about the Polish army's effective response to alleged Russian aggression, which Rekas described as no less than an "incitement to war."

    Polish honour guard march during the opening ceremony of the the Anaconda-16 military exercise in Rembertow, June 6, 2016
    © AFP 2019 / MAREK JEZIERSKI
    Polish honour guard march during the opening ceremony of the the Anaconda-16 military exercise in Rembertow, June 6, 2016

    "On the whole, the West does not want war with Russia. But this man is ready to drag Poland into a foolish political adventure," Rekas said, warning not to use force against Russia, which he said will almost certainly respond in kind.

    Last week, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will be forced to respond adequately to the deployment of NATO's missile defense system in Poland and the Western alliance’s eastward military buildup.

    Russia has repeatedly expressed its concern about the creation of a US-designed ballistic missile defense system in Europe, which was approved at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon. Poland and Romania joined Spain and Turkey in agreeing to deploy elements of the system within their territories.

    The United States’ Aegis Ashore system is expected to become operational in Poland in 2018. It is slated to form part of the European missile shield and be armed with land-based Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors.

    In recent years, the United States has taken significant steps to deploy ballistic missile defense systems throughout Europe under the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). The Aegis Ashore facility in Poland marks the third phase of the EPAA.

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    Tags:
    clout, approach, deployment, agenda, aggression, policy, Poland, Russia
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