(UR) Poland — On Monday, Poland’s defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz, told the Associated Press that resolutions to be approved at the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw will force Russia to “forget about threatening Poland” and other countries along Russia’s border.
“Only a show of real readiness to defend our borders can effectively halt Russia’s aggressive intentions,” Macierewicz told the AP.“Russia must forget about threatening Poland, the European countries and other countries around the world.”
The deployment of four multinational battalions to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland has long been sought by the easternmost NATO member nations — largely in response to Russia’s supposed annexation of Crimea in 2014 — and was discussed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference in Brussels in mid-June.
“We will agree to deploy by rotation four robust, multinational battalions to the Baltic states and Poland,” he said. “This will send a clear signal that NATO stands ready to defend any ally.
Poland’s Maciereweicz seems confident that a single battalion would be enough to fend off a Russian invasion long enough for NATO forces to mount a counterattack. Defense News was among the media in attendance when the defense minister spoke at a press conference in Poland in late June.
That outlet reported him as saying:
“These are just forward forces that are present, and together with the armies of the host countries should be able to stop the aggression for the time sufficient for the treaty to organize its structures and forces in order to defend its members.”
This projected confidence stands in contrast to what one NATO official recently stated, however, as Underground Reporterpreviously highlighted.
General Ben Hodges, commander of U.S ground forces in Europe, told German publication Die Zeit that “Russia could take over the Baltic states faster than we would be able to defend them.”
As if the incongruities in these assessments of Russia’s military capabilities weren’t disconcerting enough, the chairman of NATO’s Military Committee recently came out and admitted that the much-hyped “Russian aggression” — the very thing that’s prompted the Baltic states to call for a permanent NATO presence on their borders — doesn’t actually exist to begin with.
This inconvenient view, however — from a highly ranked military officer, no less — hasn’t stopped corporate media publications such as the Washington Post from running headlines like “The U.S. can’t ignore Russia, or its increasingly horrendous behavior.”
If nothing else, blanket media pronouncements such as these demonstrate that the current tensions with Russia extend far beyond what’s happening in Eastern Europe.
Indeed, coming less than a month after the United States deployed two aircraft carriers into the Mediterranean Sea, Zero Hedge reported Monday — citing the Russian news agency TAAS — that President Putin “will respond to the US double aircraft escalation, by deploying its own aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsoz, to Syria where its unofficial role will be as a counterpoint to US naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
This news comes just days after the Obama administration proposed a partnership with the Russian government that “would deepen military cooperation between the two countries” in Syria. The agreement, however, would require Russia to pressure the Assad-led Syrian government to stop bombing U.S.-backed rebel groups — something many officials consider to be highly doubtful at best.
Meanwhile, the NATO summit looms.
That gathering of member nations in Warsaw — where the agreement to deploy battalions to the Baltic states and Poland is expected to be made official — is set to begin July 8. And considering President Putin has repeatedly made it clear he will match any NATO military escalation along the Russian border, the coming days could see the prospect of war ratchet forward yet again.
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