Mariusz Błaszczak made the statement during military exercises in the southeastern town of Nowa Dęba, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Titled “Niedźwiedź-22” [Bear-22], the drills feature units from Poland’s 18th Mechanised Division and allied forces from the United States and Britain.
Strenghening the power of the Polish army
The defence minister told reporters: “The most effective response to threats is to strengthen the power of the Polish army, to build up the power of the Polish army.”
He added: “This is taking place through an increase in the numerical size of the Polish army, through the creation of new units, through the provision of modern weapons for the Polish army, and through the creation of interoperability.”
Błaszczak, who is also Poland’s deputy prime minister, noted that the Niedźwiedź-22/Bear-22 exercises had been designed “to test the performance and skills of Polish, British and American troops” and to determine “whether they are able to work together.”
“The soldiers have passed this test with flying colours,” the defence minister stressed.
Abrams tanks, Apache helicopters for the Polish army
Błaszczak announced that Poland's 18th Mechanised Division "will soon be equipped with the [US] Abrams tanks and the Apache attack helicopters, becoming a real barrier, a strong barrier, a barrier that the enemy won't be able to pierce."
The defence minister also thanked his US and UK counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Ben Wallace, "for increasing the presence in Poland of allied forces from the US and Britain, following Russia's assault on Ukraine."
He added that with the expansion of the Polish army, Poland was now "not only a recipient, but also a provider of security."
'We will deter the aggressor'
Błaszczak stressed: "Although those in power at the Kremlin have decided to revive the evil empire, thanks to the strength of the Polish army, which is getting stronger every year, we will deter the aggressor, make Poland secure," as quoted by the PAP news agency.
The deputy PM's words came as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued for the 209th day.
Source: PAP, polskieradio24.pl