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Russia preparing for confrontation with NATO, Polish military leader warns

19.03.2024 16:00
Poland's top soldier has warned that Russia is actively preparing for a conflict with NATO, fully aware of the alliance's defensive nature.
Gen. Wiesław Kukuła.
Gen. Wiesław Kukuła.Photo: PAP/Marian Zubrzycki

This stark warning from Gen. Wiesław Kukuła, the chief of the General Staff of the Polish Army, came during a conference held by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Poland's accession to NATO.

Kukuła highlighted the evolving threat from Russia, emphasizing the strategic adjustments and preparations Moscow is undertaking in anticipation of potential hostilities with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"We clearly see the changes happening in Russia and draw our conclusions," Kukuła cautioned during the Providing Security, Responding to Challenges conference.

"Russia is preparing for a conflict with NATO, knowing fully well that the alliance is a defensive structure," he added.

Addressing the gathered officials, including Michał Szczerba, chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and other dignitaries, Kukuła outlined Poland's response to these threats.

He said the nation was rapidly transforming its armed forces and enhancing societal resilience to counteract any aggression.

"Our deterrence strategy is based on the real capabilities of the armed forces and the defensive preparedness of the state," Kukuła told the conference.

"We aim not only for a radical improvement in our defensive capabilities but also to maintain their potential and readiness in the face of long-term pressure," he added.

Kukuła identified "three main vectors" defining Russia's readiness for aggressive actions, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The first is "the ideological vector," openly manifested and leaving no illusions about Russia's intentions, he said.

The "second vector," according to Kukuła, is the strength of the Russian military forces. Despite significant losses in Ukraine and the engagement of a substantial portion of its forces there, Russia is reorganizing its troops and intensively stimulating its defense industry, essentially gearing up for a prolonged high-intensity conflict.

The "third vector," deemed the most unpredictable, is the opportunistic nature of Russia, ready to exploit any chance or emerging weakness to further its own interests, Kukuła warned.

The Polish general stressed the importance of NATO's cohesion and readiness for immediate defense to deter the aggressor.

A lack of unity would significantly increase Russia's opportunities and serve as a clear signal for the Kremlin to initiate offensive actions, Kukuła cautioned.

He also emphasized the significance of fulfilling the obligations outlined in Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty, requiring NATO member states to build their defense capabilities and contribute equitably to the alliance's operations.

Echoing the sentiments on unity, Szczerba highlighted Poland's recent demonstration of solidarity in Washington, where President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk met with US President Joe Biden.

Szczerba said: "We may have vast disputes on domestic issues, but when it comes to international security, we speak with one voice. In existential matters, such as security, there is no room for politics."

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Tuesday is day 755 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP