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Russia undermining European security, Polish defence minister tells conference

05.10.2021 14:15
The Polish defence minister on Tuesday accused Russia of undermining security in Europe, saying the continent's security landscape has visibly deteriorated because of Moscow's policies.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak speaks at the Warsaw Security Forum on Tuesday.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak speaks at the Warsaw Security Forum on Tuesday.PAP/Mateusz Marek

Speaking at the opening of the Warsaw Security Forum, an annual conference on transatlantic cooperation, Mariusz Błaszczak said that Russia “is constantly building up its military power and using direct or indirect threats in foreign relations.”

Moscow is “also testing our resilience in other ways, which, unfortunately, is becoming the new normal for Russia’s neighbours," Błaszczak added, as quoted by Poland's PAP news agency.

He cited Moscow’s growing military presence near the Baltic and Black Seas, the recent large-scale Zapad-21 war games conducted together with Belarus just across the Polish border, and an ongoing migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian frontier as an array of methods used “to undermine the security of NATO and the European Union.”

He said moves such as Zapad-21 call for “an early, more determined response" from the NATO alliance, the Polish state news agency reported.

Błaszczak told the conference that, while organisations such as NATO and the EU played a crucial role, each member state must bolster its own capability to be able “to defend itself” and “make a credible contribution to the shared defence effort.”

To that end, Poland's defence spending has already exceeded 2 percent of GDP and will be raised to 2.5 percent of GDP by the end of the decade, Błaszczak said.

He stressed that “a synergy between NATO and the EU is key,” with the European bloc well positioned to "counter hybrid threats" and protect Europe’s energy supply chains.

Yet such new security policies “must not undercut the role of NATO or weaken transatlantic ties,” Błaszczak told the Warsaw Security Forum.


Source: PAP